Fr. Rodriguez’s Journey to Houston

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

It was the afternoon before my knee replacement surgery. My mind was caught up in the anxiety of the next day. Then the phone rang and I heard a familiar voice with an unexpected message. It was the Provincial asking me to prepare myself to be transferred to Houston. My head went into a fast spin. I had been in Miami for the past twelve years ministering at a parish. I knew I had finished my time as pastor because I had reached the prescribed time. I had requested a sabbatical to work in the history of the Florida Dominican martyrs. But going to Houston? It had never crossed my mind.

As the recovery after the surgery kept me in my room for a couple of weeks, I had ample time to reflect in the soon to arrive changes in my life. Itinerancy has been an important element in my life. Because of political reasons, I left my home when I was fifteen and came alone to the USA. When I was eighteen I joined the Order and went to Spain to do my initial formation. Thereafter I was sent to Germany, where I was ordained and finished my studies. Back in Spain, I taught at a seminary until the day I was sent back to the USA. First Union City, NJ, then Tampa, FL, followed by a special experience as pastor at a US Army base in Columbia, SC. Then, years later, I was appointed pastor in Atlanta, GA. Then my provincial sent me to Miami and for seven years I served as pastor at St. Dominic Parish. It was there the brothers asked me again to be on the move to be the Provincial in New Orleans for nine years. Then Miami again was in the horizon for twelve wonderful years. I have been an itinerant Dominican, and now Houston was to become my new home and place of ministry.

I arrived in Houston with my heart expectant with the beauty of my new beginnings, this time as a minister to a Christian community whom I approach with the peace that comes from knowing that I have arrived at the place where the Lord wants me to be. I come to praise the Lord, to preach the Good News and to share the Lord’s blessings.

Respectfully yours in Christ,

—fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.

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The Feast Day of St. Dominic de Guzman

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Saturday, August 8, is the Feast Day of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, 1216, commonly known as the ‘Dominicans.’ To preach well from whatever pulpit one must pray, begging God for humility, mercy, peace, insight, and wisdom. Like Jesus, St. Dominic was a man of prayer. He would pray in his room, in the church, along the dirt roads of Southern France in and around the Medieval town of Fanjeaux, and Dominic’s prayer was one of begging for the salvation of souls as he preached throughout the region. He wept profusely that people were straying from sound Doctrine. This also was prayer. Sunday, August 9, features the Gospel passage of St. John where Jesus says I am the bread of life.” Dominic used his whole body in prayer gestures such as extending his arms in the form of Jesus’ body on the cross or singing songs of joyful praise as he and his followers would travel near and far to preach the Gospel truth and Sacred Doctrine. The bread and butter of Dominic’s prayer flowed from the Holy Eucharist.

Dominic had a profoundly spiritual relationship with the Blessed Mother and in a vision received a rosary from Mary, Mother of God. It shows prominently on our white Dominican habit where it is convenient for praying the rosary. Here in our Dominican-tradition Holy Rosary Parish, I encourage all of us to pray this essential and life-giving way of prayer. Anxiety is lessened when we beg on behalf of other souls for their well-being and encouragement in any challenge or joy in life. The mysteries of the Gospel pondered are integral to the Holy Rosary, and we are Holy Rosary Parish.

In God’s loving kindness,

—fr. Chris, O.P.

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