Most student brothers at St. Albert’s spend their Saturdays working on homework, preparing for ministry, or catching up on chores. But for Br. Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P., Br. Andrew Opsahl, O.P., Br. Matthew Heynen, O.P., Br. Scott Norgaard, O.P., and Br. Damien Dominic Nguyen, O.P., Saturday, March 18 was the perfect day to run 13.1 miles.
It all started a few months ago, when a couple of the brothers decided to run a half-marathon. As they begin training, other brothers joined in and formed the Fast Friars team. Inspired by the life and stories of the most senior members of the St. Albert’s community, they came up with the idea to turn their run into a fund-raiser for the care of the Province’s elderly friars.
After learning that the average cost of care for one elderly friar is about $5,500 a month, or approximately $66,000 a year (depending on the friar’s health and medical needs), they set a goal of $1,000 per team member and started reaching out to family and friends in preparation for their run.
Soon thereafter the Dominican nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery in Menlo Park joined in, pledging to run a mile along the rosary path within the cloister for every $150 raised by the brothers.
Thanks to the generosity of their friends, family and benefactors, the brothers raised over $10,000, surpassing their goal.
Since Dominicans live in community, the general hope is to keep a friar living in a priory or house as long as possible, which is why a nurse is sometimes brought in to assist with physical therapy or other medical needs. But when a friar requires more care than the community can provide, he often moves to a nursing facility nearby where the brothers can continue to visit and interact with him.
All of this can get very expensive, but the brothers want the friars to receive the best care possible, especially after their many years of service in the Church and to the people of God.
To check out photos and highlights from the race, click here.
Gifts can still be made in honor of our elderly friars through the end of March, by visiting the Fast Friars race page on EverydayHero. Donations go towards the care of those over 80 years old: Fr. Paul Duffner, O.P., Fr. Antoninus Wall, O.P., Fr. Francisco Vicente, O.P., Fr. Hilary Martin, O.P., Fr. Vincent Lopez, O.P., Fr. Thomas Hayes, O.P., Fr. Eugene Sousa, O.P., Fr. Bruno Gibson, O.P., Fr. Kieran Healy, O.P., Fr. John Morris, O.P., Fr. Augustine Hartman, O.P., Fr. David Farrugia, O.P., Fr. Gerald Buckley, O.P., Fr. Paul Conner, O.P., Fr. Aquinas Costello, O.P., Fr. Thomas De Man, O.P., Fr. Albert Felice-Pace, O.P., Fr. Paschal Salisbury, O.P., Fr. David O’Rourke, O.P., and Br. Frederick Narberes, O.P.