Since his college days, St. Mary’s by the Sea parishioner Dan Truzzolino has had a passion for teaching. Truzzolino started teaching faith lessons at the University of Arizona Newman Center while attending college at the Tucson campus. This lifelong love of teaching has continued, uninterrupted to the present.
Truzzolino has East Coast roots. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up on Long Island. His move West was in large part due to an Asthma issue and his doctor suggesting the climates in Florida, or Arizona, might be more conducive to improving his
Truzzolino applied for and was accepted to the University of Arizona and the journey West began. After graduating in 1973 with a degree in mechanical engineering, a move farther West occurred. Upon accepting a position with City of Commerce based Fluor Engineering and Consulting, Truzzolino settled in Downey and began attending St. Raymond Church. It was at St. Raymond that his leadership, teaching and relationship building abilities were recognized by the pastor, Father Patrick Cleary. Fr. Cleary asked a young Truzzolino to run the then called Teen Club. Teen Club programs were later to be known as Faith Formation. He also played matchmaker pairing Dan with a young female parishioner together as leaders of this program. The matchmaking and Faith Formation were both successful and Dan and his wife Beverly have been married 46 years.
In 1976, when Fluor moved their corporate offices to Irvine, the Truzzolinos settled in Tustin and joined St. Cecilia Parish. Both Beverly and Dan quickly became involved at St. Cecilia. They had their three children, Monica, Paul and Mark who attended the parish school before moving on to Mater Dei. At St. Cecilia, Truzzolino was an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and lector. He also taught Faith Formation classes. Most of all he was a visible, hardworking and dedicated parishioner.
In 2011, Truzzolino retired from Fluor. While looking for a fitness program to keep in shape and give him the energy, he joined a local Pilates class. The class was enjoyable and the ever-curious Truzzolino queried the instructor on how we might be involved in teaching classes. Soon after he started the certification course to become a Pilates Instructor. This wasn’t the “watered down” certification course, but a rigorous eight-month program that included five hundred hours of observation and practice teaching. Still active with Pilates, Truzzolino teaches group classes and private sessions, 12 to 15 hours per week.
“I enjoy building bonds with students, helping their fitness and being involved in their lives,” he said.
God speaks to us in many ways and at various times. Recently, the Truzzolinos were on a trip to Germany and Austria surrounded by likeminded people of faith. While visiting one of the most revered spots on earth, Oberammergau, Truzzolino felt inspired. After much prayer and contemplation, he was drawn to becoming a student again and enrolling in a master’s in theology program. Currently, he is a student at the Augustine Institute. This rigorous program involves online course work composed of weekly reading, tests and written papers. This program will take approximately four years to complete. Truzzolino’s motivation for joining the program is not to make money or to earn prestigious degrees. His motivation is to gain knowledge and better serve his RCIA and Confirmation students.
“I love a challenge and want to be the best at whatever task I take on,” he said.
Through decades of teaching, Truzzolino has touched many lives. Now, at a time when most people might take a step back and slow down, Truzzolino is embarking on new adventures and taking on new challenges.