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Support Fr. Michael Rodriguez October 11, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.

As should be known to my readers, Fr. Michael Rodriguez was removed from his position as parish administrator of San Juan Bautista parish in El Paso some weeks ago.  There is now a petition effort in that diocese to have him returned to San Juan Bautista and to have him made pastor of the parish, which would provide Fr. Rodriguez with greatly increased canonical rights.  The El Paso Times has an article about this effort today, including a poll where you can voice your opinion regarding whether Fr. Rodriguez should be returned to ministry in the city of El Paso.  I highly encourage all to vote. 

An update on San Juan Bautista.  There are no Traditional Latin Masses at the parish at present, although there is a promise to train a priest or two in the timeless Mass of All Ages and to have a Sunday TLM there at some indeterminate point in the future.  There are no other Sacraments offered, none of the daily catechesis classes Fr. Rodriguez offered, none of the daily prayers and devotionals, the whole parish life is essentially gone.  There is apparently an offer to undergo prep like First Communion or Confirmation at a neighboring parish that is apparently very problematic, and then to have the actual Sacrament at San Juan Bautista, but that’s hardly a replacement for a vibrant parish life. 

Some additional details from a press release that precipitated this news article:

 For the past 9 1/2 years, Fr. Michael Rodríguez has served as parish priest of San Juan Bautista in central El Paso.  Recently, Bishop Armando Ochoa reassigned Fr. Rodríguez to Santa Teresa de Jesús Parish in Presidio, TX, and the surrounding missions of Candelaria, Redford, and Shafter, TX.  We, the parishioners of San Juan Bautista, and hundreds, probably even thousands, of other Catholic faithful from around the diocese and southern New Mexico, want to make a public appeal to our Bishop:  please restore the traditional Catholic parish life that we had at San Juan Bautista.  We are convinced that this parish life is, by far, the greatest spiritual treasure of our city. 

     The Catholics of El Paso have now been left without the priest who was the lone voice speaking the truth and upholding all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  Anyone in El Paso can tell you that the most reverent Mass offered was at San Juan Bautista.  Fr. Rodríguez had Confessions five times a week and often stayed past midnight absolving our sins. He had a Holy Hour almost every day, and all-night Adoration at least once a month.  The Rosary was prayed daily at San Juan, many times more than once.  Every Friday, after the evening Mass, Fr. Rodríguez led the Stations of the Cross in Spanish, and others prayed them in English every Friday at 12:30 p.m.  At San Juan Bautista, we had many other devotions, novenas, blessings of sacramentals, processions, and additional Masses for First Friday and First Saturday.  There were also numerous classes in the faith for both the adults and youth of the parish.  Fr. Rodríguez was the only priest speaking out in public to defend Marriage as the union between one man and one woman. In addition, he was the only priest of the diocese offering the Traditional Latin Mass.  Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has made it very clear that the Traditional Latin Mass should be offered generously throughout the world wherever the faithful are requesting it.  Here in El Paso, hundreds of us are requesting a daily Traditional Latin Mass, just as it was being offered at San Juan Bautista.  We respectfully ask Bishop Ochoa to do nothing more than obey the directives of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.  Moreover, in just two years, the small parish of San Juan Bautista has had five men go to the seminary and two women to the convent. Another two men and two women will probably go this year to seek a religious vocation and many more youth are discerning a religious vocation thanks, in part, to the example and spiritual direction of Fr. Michael Rodríguez.  Finally, Fr. Rodríguez was the only priest in the diocese who was openly promoting true Catholic education and supporting those who wish to homeschool within their family.  

     Many Catholics will attest to the fact that no other priest in El Paso was working harder than Fr. Rodríguez for the sanctification and salvation of our souls.  And now he is gone, and so is the rich and magnificent spiritual life that we formerly had at San Juan. The grief and sorrow which many of us are experiencing is unimaginable.  We’ve lost our spiritual father!  Many of the faithful are utterly devastated. They simply do not know where to go for the feeding and care of their souls.  Hundreds of letters have already been written to our Bishop, and we intend to make it thousands upon thousands.  The injustice is palpable, especially for those who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the poor, the elderly and children who relied on him for their spiritual nourishment. Their pain and hopelessness is written all over their faces.
     This morning we presented Bishop Armando Ochoa with a petition of more 180 signatures, and are still in the process of gathering more. Our hope is to have 500 by next week and then grow that number even more.  We are urging our Bishop to be obedient to Pope Benedict XVI, and provide El Paso with a parish life centered on the Traditional Latin Mass.  Secondly, we are pleading with our Bishop:  please, please send Fr. Rodríguez back to us.  We love him, he’s sacrificed so much for us, and El Paso desperately needs the light and strength of his priesthood.



1. Woody - October 11, 2011

I have had the utmost respect for Frs. Corrapi and Pavone and what they did in their “ministries.” However, the more I hear about this wonderful priest, Fr. Rodriquez, the more I am inclined to feel that this is what all priests should be about. If every parish could have just one priest like this good man, wow!

tantamergo - October 11, 2011

I agree. He was a remarkable priest for this age. I think he would have been above average in any age, but I think 100 – 120 years ago many more, if not most, pirests were like him.

2. An interview with Fr. Michael Rodriguez « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - October 12, 2011

[…] Hammond tipped me to an interview of Fr. Michael Rodriguez that appeared in the Remnant newspaper.  I’ll post some excerpts below.  If you […]

3. http://peso.com - October 16, 2011

The poor people of Presidio Texas need Fr. Michael Rodriguez a lot more than you selfish whiners in El Paso.

tantamergo - October 17, 2011

Uff da, that’s an unfortunate comment. And, furthermore, Fr. Rodriguez is not serving in Presidio, he is serving, thus far, only in the mission parishes of Shafner, Redford, and Candelaria. How many souls does he serve in those parishes? Not many, certainly less than in El Paso. So from a perspective simply of numbers, the “need” for Fr. Rodriguez is greater in El Paso.

Regarding being “selfish whiners,” I don’t think that merits a response. This is your first and last warning, don’t leave another comment like that again.

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