Brother Benno Garrity
Brother Benno was a Benedictine monk at the Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, formerly known as St. Charles Priory. He was the chief baker at the Abbey, and his specialty was bread. Brother would regularly drive through poor neighborhoods in his rickety old truck and hand out loaves of bread to anyone who needed it. Soon he was collecting donations of other kinds of food from friends of the Abbey, then from supermarkets that were willing to give away day-old baked goods and produce.
Brother Benno also used his bread to good advantage by giving it to potential donors. “Here’s a loaf of my fresh bread,” he’d say to a businessman. And then, using his Irish charm, he’d usually go back to the Abbey with a substantial donation of money or other goods to be used for the poor.
To this day, bread is always available at the Center at any time–a kind of tribute to Brother Benno, who died on October 29, 1992.