Monday, June 11, 2012
Communications Department - Archdiocese of Miami
Archbishop Thomas Wenski announced this gift stating, Bishop Roman was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Matanzas in 1959. He always maintained great love for Cuba and especially the Province of Matanzas. He generously supported the Church in Cuba in life; and he now in death continues to support the Church in Cuba. This legacy gift of Bishop Roman to his diocese of his baptism illustrates the theme of the great jubilee celebration of the 400th anniversary of Our Lady of Charity: a Jesus por Maria, la caridad nos une (to Jesus through Mary, charity unites us).
On September 17, 1961 Bishop Roman, along with 132 other Cuban priest priests, was expelled from Cuba. He arrived in the Archdiocese of Miami in 1966 after ministering in Chile, and began his efforts to collect pennies to build the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, Ermita de la Caridad, which has become a National Shrine.
Bishop Roman was ordained an auxiliary bishop for Archdiocese of Miami on March 24, 1979; in 2003 submitted his resignation as auxiliary bishop but remained active at the shrine and in the archdiocese until his death. He never was able to return to serve as a priest in his native Cuba.
Once referred to as a hero for his successful efforts to quell a prison riot, Bishop Roman with humility would respond, A bishop, a priest, is a servant, not a hero.
The $60,000 bequest has been sent to the Most Reverend Manuel de Cespedes, Bishop of Matanzas.