Junior (Class 8) at St. Mary’s Nyeri, Kenya
Good afternoon everyone. My name is Edwin Wanyonyi and I am a junior from Saint Mary’s Child Rescue Centre. In this sad day, I stand in front of you, being one of the many people who benefited from Brother Dominic’s good works of charity. His death reminds me of how far he has brought me. He saved the remains of the poor and hopeless kid whom I was, and made a hopeful boy out of me. As I remember him, tears almost fill my eyes, but I won’t cry because Dommie’s spirit will live forever.
I was born 18 years ago in Gilgil when my mum was still in school. That was the beginning of a long journey of pain, sorrow, suffering and desperation for me. My mother got married but they later separated and I was left with her. She was jobless and as a result of her strong will to bring me up, she resorted to prostitution. Many are the nights I used to sleep hungry and lonely when she would leave at dusk.
I went to live with my grandmother in Nakuru where I continued schooling. My grandmother used to mistreat me a lot and when I could not stomach that any longer, I went back to Gilgil to live with my mother. My mother moved to Nairobi but left me behind with my cruel aunt who used to beat me so much that I decided to run away to Nairobi.
I was hopeless and I had no godly mentor, so stealing, pick-pocketing, sniffing glue and smoking bhang became my comfort. The painful days of hunger, restlessness and mistreatment from the city council askaris are still fresh in my mind. I thought all hope was gone but I was rescued by a lady, Teacher Mary, who later brought me to Saint Mary’s. That was on 12th December 2006, on Jamhuri Day.
That was the happiest day of my life; I could learn, sleep and socialize in peace, credit to Brother Dominic just like so many other rescued children in this programme. His fatherly love, warm welcome, charming smile and a ‘hi’ for us every time we met is still alive, and will always be in our lives. He never discriminated against anyone. He was humble and he never gave up. He is a man to be envied by all. How can I thank him? How can we thank him? He sacrificed for the poor and the desperate. His presence in Saint Mary’s was gold in the face of Kenya.
Brother Dominic is physically away from us but his spirit is right here with us. You just have to look in the faces of the many people he transformed and you will see his great, beautiful and caring personality. I will live on to be a living witness of God’s great present to us that Dommie was to us. Those of us who benefited from Brother Dominic’s good work will keep his spirit burning, strive to excel, leave our dreams and one day we will make the world a better place by setting a good example and leaving a legacy like our dear Brother Dominic.
If tears could build a stairway and memories were a ladder to heaven, we would walk right up to heaven and bring you back again. No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye. You were gone before we knew it, and only God knows why our hearts still ache in sadness and secret tears still flow. What it means to lose you, no one will ever know, but now we know you want us to mourn for you no more, but to celebrate a life well-lived and to remember all the happy times. Life still has much in store since you’ll never be forgotten. We pledge to you today a prized place within our heart is where you’ll always stay. You have left this world of sorrow, and are free from pain and harm, and now rest in peace and comfort, in the blessed Savior’s arms. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. God bless you.
Eulogy by Richard McKay
March 31, 2012
Good morning. Thank you for coming on this rainy day. I want to read you a story from this book of fairy tales.
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom. In this kingdom there was a Brotherhood of Knights whose job it was to do good and conquer evil. There was a young boy who wanted to do good and conquer evil so he went to the Brotherhood of Knights and asked if he could join them. They said he could join them under three conditions:
- He had to change his name.
- He had to go through eight years of rigorous training.
- After the training, he had to agree to go anywhere in the kingdom.
The young boy agreed. After eight years of training, the Brothers sent the young boy into the kingdom to do good and to conquer evil. He did this well, and after twenty years, he went back to the Brothers and said, “I want to do more good and conquer more evil. Send me out, outside the kingdom to foreign lands. The Brothers agreed. After thirty years in foreign lands, doing good and conquering evil, the young boy, now an old man, became sick, and he died. Then, on one special day, all the people of the kingdom gathered together in one sacred place and proclaimed the young boy a hero.
You have just heard the life story of Jimmy Jordan, Brother Dominic Jordan. I know this story is true because I was a witness to these events. For eight years I lived with Brother Dominic in training for the Christian Brothers, and for the past seven years, Brother Dominic recruited me to help raise funds for St. Mary’s, his school…in Nyeri, Kenya.
I remember Brother Dominic in the Novitiate. He studied the rule of the Christian Brothers. He learned three principles from this rule… to do good and conquer evil.
- The end of this Institute is to give a Christian Education to children, especially poor children.
- The spirit of this Institute is first, a spirit of Faith, and to attribute all to God.
- Next, the spirit of this Institute consists in a spirit of zeal for the instruction of children.
Brother Dominic did everything with ZEAL. First, he went to St. Raymond’s where he taught chemistry. He later became principal. Noticing that the students didn’t have enough to do on weekends, he started a Youth Center where they gathered on weekends and during the summer. In time, he went to St. Peter’s where he also became principal and increased the enrollment by hundreds of students. At one time, there were over 900 students at St. Peter’s.
In 1984, Brother Dominic volunteered for the missions in Africa. First, he went to Ethiopia, then to several places in Kenya. Finally, in 1998, he went to St. Mary’s in Nyeri, Kenya. Once when I was visiting St. Mary’s, I asked a group of teachers what it was like when Brother Dominic first came to St. Mary’s. One of the older teachers said, “When Brother Dominic came, everything changed. Suddenly we became an academic powerhouse, ranking in the top 100 schools out of 6,000 in the whole country. 75% of our graduates went to the free university, compared to an average of 1% from the other schools. Another teacher said, “The first thing I noticed about Brother Dominic was that he never walked. He just sprinted from one place to another at different speeds. Another said, “I noticed that Brother Dominic was always happiest when he was knocking down a wall, expanding a dormitory, enlarging the dining room, building a classroom.”
I remember asking Brother Dominic how the child rescue program for street kids began. He said, “It just kinda happened. We have a slum, MAJENGA, across the street, and people kept bringing kids to us to take in. One night a lady brought a three year old child and asked me if I would take him in permanently. Looking at that child, I said to myself, ‘How can I refuse a three year old child?’ I knew then that I had to start a program for these kids.” Now St. Mary’s has 270 street kids. ZEAL!
The second principle of Brother Dominic’s life was to give a Christian education to youth. Did he succeed in this? Absolutely. Fortunately we have a testimonial that one of his street kids read at Brother Dominic’s funeral in Kenya last month. ( See the above reflection by Edwin Wanonyi )
The third principle of Brother Dominic’s life was to see everything with the eyes of faith. He would say to me, “Rich, we need a new dormitory.” and I would reply, “Good idea! Who’s going to pay for it?” He would say, “We need four new classrooms.” and I would say, “That’s a major project.” He would say, “We have to get books for the library.” And I would say, “Who’s going to pay to ship them from the United States?” And he would always give me the same answer, “Don’t worry, Rich. God will provide. Somebody will emerge to help us.” And he was right. Somebody always did emerge to help us. That somebody was YOU, the people in this church. You emerged, and now we have a new dormitory. You emerged, and now we have four new classrooms. You emerged, and now we have 22,000 new books in our library.
And so, today, I ask you to keep the faith…to keep the faith of Brother Dominic that somebody will continue to emerge. I ask you to join me in continuing to emerge and support the children of St. Mary’s.
Lastly, I would like to end with a prayer. I ask everyone please to stand, reach out, and take the hand of the person next to you.
“Brother Dominic, please intercede with God so that the people in this church will continue to emerge and support the children of St. Mary’s”
St. John Baptist De La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts….Forever.
Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of
Br. Dominic Jordan, FSC
Born James Peter Jordan in New York City, NY on April 3, 1940
Entered the Barrytown Juniorate on September 9, 1954, and Novitiate on June 24, 1957
Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Dominic Benildus, on September 7, 1957
Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Manhattan College, Bronx, NY in 1965
Brother Jordan died at Nairobi Hospital in Kenya, on February 8, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The cortege leaves Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi, for St. Mary’s, Nyeri. Upon arrival at St. Mary’s, there will be a prayer service, the viewing of the body, and a night vigil.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Mass at Our Lady Consolata Cathedral, Nyeri. The Bishop of Nyeri, Peter Kairo, who has been so close to the Brothers and to Brother Dominic, will be the main celebrant. After the liturgy [around 12:30 pm] – departure for burial at Mathari, a cemetery for religious and priests for the Diocese of Nyeri.
(Brother Dennis Lee will represent the District at all these services)
Saturday, March 31, 2012
There will be a memorial Liturgy for Brother Dominic at: St. Peter’s Church, Staten Island
Reception to follow
SUFFRAGES FOR OUR DECEASED BROTHER DOMINIC
District: 50 masses
St. Peter’s community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass
Brother Dominic suffered a fatal, massive heart attack in Nairobi Hospital, Kenya, during the early morning. He began experiencing angina symptoms while visiting in Kenya, and he made plans to return to the US earlier than scheduled. His condition required hospitalization in Kenya, where he passed away. [Per Brother Dominic’s wishes, and after consultation with his sister Marion, he will be buried in Kenya.] May he rest in peace.
Tour of Duty
St. Raymond H S
New York, NY
La Salle Academy
St. Raymond H S
teacher & principal (1978-1984)
Staten Island, NY
St. Peter’s H S
Rongai H S
Renewal (January – June)
C. I. L. Program
Meki Catholic Mission School
director of development
De La Salle Delegation
sabbatical (September – December)
Staten Island, NY
St Peter’s Community
St. Mary’s Boys Secondary School
Initiated DLS Christian Brothers Child Rescue & Adult Education Center
recuperation (through May)
De La Salle Hall
Staten Island, NY
St. Peter’s H S Community
St. Mary’s Boys Secondary School
fundraiser for St. Mary’s Boys School, Nyeri
Staten Island, NY
St. Peter’s H S
Bro Dominic was my Principal at St. Mary/s Secondary in Nyeri Kenya. He and the teachers transformed me from a Boy to a Man. Am due to graduate from a Kenyan university in July with a Bsc degree in Food Science and Technology. As we mark the day Bro. Dominic left us for eternal glory tomorrow, May we pray for FAITH from God so that we may live to carry on from where Bro. dom left.
Brother Dominic was my principal and ice hockey coach at St Peters HS on Staten Island. He was a great Coach and an even greater person. Always with a smile and a “Hello Gents” whenever he walked by. He demanded perfection from us on the ice and made the Eagles an ice hockey powerhouse for years to come. May you rest in peace Bro. Thanks for everything you taught us.
St John the Baptist De Lasalle, Pray for us!!
Brother Dominic was a great leader. He made me a man. Rongai Agri Tec taught us life skills.