Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bro. David Tierney, SDB

Bro. David Tierney, SDB

Bro. David Tierney died late on the night of January 28, 2011, in Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg after a short illness. He was 93.

Bro. Dave was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on December 23, 1917, the son of David and Helen Reilly Tierney. He emigrated to the U.S. as a young man and entered Don Bosco Seminary in Newton in 1942. He made his religious profession as a coadjutor brother on September 8, 1944.

Bro. Dave initially carried out humble tasks such as doing laundry, office work, and general chores of all sorts in Salesian houses in Suffern (1945-46), Newton (1946-48), Paterson (1948-49, 1954-55), New Rochelle (1949-52), and DBT Boston (1955-58).

Eventually he began to teach: at St. Michael’s School in Goshen (1952-54) and Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa (1958-59); served in the province’s vocations office in New Rochelle (1959-66), and was a tour guide at the Catacombs of St. Callistus in Rome (1967-69).

In 1966 Bro. Dave undertook studies at Don Bosco College toward a bachelor’s degree in English, which he completed at Cal State in Los Angeles in 1971 while assigned to Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead (1969-75). Returning to Don Bosco Tech in Boston in 1975, he taught English and earned an M.A. in education from Suffolk University in 1976.

In 1980-81 Bro. Dave taught English at Salesian High School in New Rochelle and then joined the staff of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of Columbus (1981-83), where he tutored children, especially in reading and basic English skills. He offered ESL courses while in residence at the provincial house in New Rochelle (1983-87, 1988-2000) and Holy Rosary Parish in Port Chester (1987-88).

Fr. Tom Dunne praised Bro. Dave’s “unwavering passion for education as the heart of our Salesian charism.” He was impatient with his own aging, said Fr. Tom, because it took him out of day-to-day contact with the young. It was inspiring, then, Fr. Tom said, to see him work with immigrants in his later years by tutoring them in English.

Bro. Dave retired to the Marian Shrine at Haverstraw in 2000; from there he moved to St. Philip the Apostle Residence, the Salesians’ retirement home in Tampa, in 2004.

After funeral celebrations in Tampa and the New York area, Bro. Dave will be buried in the province cemetery at Goshen.

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