1897 – 1985 (March 28)
Dominic Longo, one of two sons and four daughters of Francesco Longo and Maria Trombetta, was born on July 28, 1897, in Santa Caterina, Calabria, Italy. He immigrated to the United States in 1926 and was naturalized on June 29, 1927. He came to know the Augustinians in South Philadelphia, where he served as sexton in the parishes of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and Saint Nicholas of Tolentine. He served in the U.S. Army from October 8, 1942 to January 27, 1943 and received an honorable discharge.
In 1947, Dominic entered the Augustinian community at Saint Mary’s Parish in East Vineland, New Jersey, as a candidate for the brotherhood. In 1951 he entered the Order as a novice and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on April 27, 1952. Brother Dominic then returned to East Vineland where he served first at Saint Mary’s Parish and then, from 1956, at Our Lady of Pompeii Parish, as sacristan, gardener and cook for the community. He made his solemn profession on April 27, 1955. In 1970, he was assigned to Saint Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, NJ. He claimed that he was assigned there to teach English!
Brother Dominic spent his entire life as a professed religious among the people of southern New Jersey. He was well known to the clergy and people of the Diocese of Camden. He lived a full, joyful and prayerful life, relatively free of illness, a brother known for his fraternal and convivial manner, his generosity and thoughtfulness. From 1980 until his death he lived in the Bishop McCarthy Residence, a nursing care facility, in Vineland, N.J.
The words of his novice master, Father Henry Caffrey, recommending him for simple profession, remained true througout his religious life: “Brother Dominic has manifested a simple, pious, and docile spirit as a religious during his novitiate year. He has been a willing and energetic worker in all tasks assigned to him. He has shown a real interest in everything pertaining to the common good.”
Father Stephen LaRosa noted at his funeral: “the simplest things in his environment were always beautiful because his soul was filled with the beauty of the Holy Spirit. Dom prayed for his death and wanted it to be a celebration. He invited many to his funeral. He loved youth and often distributed candy at the Prep, as sports events and at Mass, He was ecumenical – had love for everyone. He loved a good time, made you laugh, lifted your soul because he found Jesus in everyone he met. He was devoted to the rosary which he prayed three times a day.”
Brother Dominic died on March 28, 1985 at the age of 87. His funeral Mass was celebrated on April 1, 1985 at Our Lady of Pompeii Parish, East Vineland, after which he was buried in the Augustinian section of Saint Mary’s Parish Cemetery, East Vineland, N.J.