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Parish News | Friday, March 17, 2023

Dominican Father Alberto Rodríguez, 77

Priest for 51 years, twice served as pastor of St. Dominic Church in Miami

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HOUSTON, Texas | Funeral services were held here March 16, 2023, for Father Alberto Rodríguez, a Dominican priest who twice served as pastor of St. Dominic Church in Miami and also as provincial of the Dominicans in the southern United States.

Dominican Father Alberto Rodríguez: Born Dec. 5, 1945; professed first vows Sept. 23, 1965; ordained July 3, 1971; died March 10, 2023.

Photographer: COURTESY

Dominican Father Alberto Rodríguez: Born Dec. 5, 1945; professed first vows Sept. 23, 1965; ordained July 3, 1971; died March 10, 2023.

Father Rodríguez, 77, died March 10 at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas, after being diagnosed with cancer in 2020. He had been a priest for 51 years and a Dominican friar for 57.

With him when he died were his cousin, Alex, who traveled from Miami, as well as friends and friars from Holy Rosary Parish in Houston, Texas, where he served as parochial vicar and then administrator from 2016 until 2020, and where he lived until his death.

“Let us offer prayers to God in gratitude for the life, service and friendship that Father Alberto shared with us for so long,” said a notice published on St. Dominic’s website.

“He was very beloved here, where he served as pastor twice and did many things for everyone,” said Maritza Alvarez, a longtime parishioner of St. Dominic.

Born in Havana, Cuba, on Dec. 5, 1945, Father Rodriguez was the eldest of three children born to Alberto Marcel Rodríguez y Sánchez and Yolanda Margarita López y Emanelli of Camagüey, Cuba.

At age 16, he moved to the United States for studies, and in 1964 he entered the novitiate of the Order of Preachers (the Dominican Friars), Province of Bética. He professed simple vows on Sept. 23, 1965, studied theology in Seville, Spain, and was ordained a priest on July 3, 1971, at the Dominikanerkloster St. Albert in Walberberg, Germany.

After ordination, he pursued a doctoral degree at the University of Cologne, Germany, and briefly taught in Seville before returning to the United States in 1977.

Here, he served as parochial vicar of St. Rocco Parish, Union City, New Jersey (1977-78); director of Hispanic Cursillo and Charismatic Renewal, St. Petersburg, Florida (1978-81); and chaplain at Moncrief Army Hospital and director of Hispanic Ministry, Fort Jackson, South Carolina (1981-83).

He served as pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Atlanta, Georgia (1983-86), before coming to St. Dominic (1986-1993; 2003-2015).

Father Rodríguez also served for nine years as the prior provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres in the Southern U.S. (1993-2002).

He was proud to serve on the Historical Commission for the Beatification and Canonization of the Florida Martyrs and was involved in the process until his death.

He loved cooking elaborate and delicious meals for his community, family, and loved ones.

He is preceded in death by his parents and younger sister, Yolanda, who died only a week before him. He is survived by his younger brother, Eduardo, of Camagüey, Cuba, his nephews and niece and their families.

He will be fondly remembered and dearly missed by his Dominican brothers and sisters, his family with whom he was very close, and the many faithful that he served throughout his ministry as a priest.

The Mass of Christian Burial was livestreamed on St. Dominic’s Facebook page. Burial will take place at a later date at the Dominican Cemetery in Rosaryville, Ponchatoula, Louisiana.

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