For 60 years Br. Dominic Lococo has followed St. Francis. He has been his Brothers’ Keeper, taking care of body and soul (sic). As a Tertiary Brother, he was a tailor and made habits. He was trained as a shoemaker and made sandals for newly invested friars for Mt. Alverno Franciscans. He has also been a sacristan contributing to the care of the souls of his brother friars.
His Italian roots and love of food helped him embark on his assignment as a chef in Oldenburg, Ind., cooking for as many as 60 friars at a time. One of his first recipes was his mother's spaghetti sauce. He served as spiritual assistant to the Third Order for 12 years. He also excelled at selling subscriptions to St. Anthony Messenger Magazine, a Franciscan publication.
For 32 years he read for visually impaired listeners at the Radio Reading Services for the Blind. “They would let me read for a half -hour whatever I wanted, like Angels Among Us and Guideposts, a non-denominational publication.” In all, he has had 14 assignments, most of which have been in the Cincinnati to Oldenburg area. “We call it the Franciscan Beltway.”
Dominic’s parents were married in Sicily and moved here after their first (of five) son was born. “My father owned a grocery in Louisville, Ky., selling lots of fruits and vegetables. Mom and Dad spoke Sicilian at home, a dialect of Italian. It was strange when I went to Italy for my Jubilee visit in 2008, celebrating 50 years as a friar. After all that time, I still recalled and could speak Sicilian although I prayed no one would speak Italian to me expecting that I knew their language.”
At 82, he lives at Mercy Winton Woods, the former St. Francis Seminary, in an independent living apartment surrounded by lush gardens and woods. He continues to use his creative talents making St. Anthony Chaplets, 13 sets of three beads and a medal of the Saint. It is a rosary of meditations and prayers to St. Anthony. He offers them for sale at various Franciscan events.
He is still very active and exercises at a health club. He has a hearing impairment but does not allow it to get in the way of staying healthy. Dominic does have one wish … that the chapel where he lives and attends daily Mass will someday be air-conditioned. “The heat is hard on some of the elderly residents.”