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Father Michael Rodriguez Update:
Respice Stellam, Voca Mariam

Press Release POSTED: UPDATED 1/18/12
Contact: Father Michael Rodriguez  
Bishop Armando Ochoa

(Updated) As voyagers over the dark, stormy and turbulent seas which have engulfed the Barque of Peter throughout this post-conciliar period in Church history, let us keep our eyes ever fixed on Mary, the Star of the Sea, stella maris.  The following paragraph is taken directly from Our Lady Book, compiled by Rev. F. X. Lasance.

She is the Star of Power; when our enemies encompass us for our destruction, respice stellam, voca Mariam, “look on the star, call upon Mary.”  She is the Star of Hope; when discouragement takes possession of us at the sight of our own sins and weakness and utter infidelity to God, respice stellam, voca Mariam.  She is the Star of Protection; when the soul is, so to speak, submerged in the floods of temptation or trial or sorrow, respice stellam, voca Mariam.  She is the Star of Joy and Consolation; when sadness embitters the heart , respice stellam, voca Mariam.

On January 12, 2012, Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso and no longer my bishop, filed a lawsuit against me.  His action is dishonest, unjust, vindictive, and, tragically, has created unnecessary public scandal.  The reality is that his lawsuit misrepresents and misinterprets many facts.  As of September 24, 2011, every single penny belonging to the parish of San Juan Bautista has been in the possession of the diocese and the parish.  I have never misused or misappropriated parish funds, period.  I have been obedient to the Seventh Commandment of God, “Thou shalt not steal.”  For the past four months, my canon lawyer and I have done everything possible to resolve the matter with the diocese amicably.  On the other hand, Bishop Ochoa has failed to reciprocate our good faith efforts.  He has ignored my canon lawyer, eschewed the proper canonical procedures, and failed to conduct an investigation that is objective, fair, and charitable.

I am incredibly grateful to Almighty God for the constant prayers and wonderful support of my present and former parishioners.  Truly, their love for me, but especially their love for our holy religion and the Traditional Latin Mass, brings tears to my priestly eyes.  I also want to thank faithful Catholics from around the nation and readers of The Remnant for standing by me.  Aided by the fortitude of the Holy Ghost, I shall not fail you.  In the midst of very trying circumstances, thank you for trusting in my integrity, love for God, and love for Holy Mother Church.

I will continue to do my best to be a good and holy priest, no matter the cost.  I will continue to proclaim and teach the truths of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the area of sexual morality, no matter the cost.  I will continue to adhere to the Roman Missal of 1962 no matter the cost.


Over the course of my 9 ½ years as parish administrator of San Juan Bautista, by the grace and mercy of God, the following spiritual goods were “achieved”:

1) Restoration of the glorious Traditional Latin Mass

2) Gradual restoration of the Catholic Church's sacred language, Latin

3) Gradual restoration of Gregorian Chant and sacred music

4) Devout and worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist on the tongue and kneeling, accompanied by preparatory and thanksgiving prayers

5) Silence at Holy Mass and a real catholic sense of the sacred

6) Modest dress and reverent behavior at Holy Mass and inside church 

7) Two daily Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

8) Holy Hours with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at least four times per week

9) Regularly-scheduled Confessions at least five times per week; Confession available at any time, day or night, by appointment

10) Stations of the Cross every Friday in both English (12:30 p.m.) and Spanish (6:45 p.m.)

11) Parish Lenten Missions in both English and Spanish

12) Numerous vocations to the priesthood and religious life

13) Christ the King, Corpus Christi, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Processions through the neighborhood

14) In addition to the standard Catechism and Sacramental Preparation classes which most parishes have (at San Juan, these classes took place on Saturdays and Sundays), there were Classes in the Faith for the entire parish (in both English and Spanish) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  I personally taught one class every Tuesday evening, and two on Thursday evenings

15) Promotion of many Marian devotions, e.g. parish novenas to Our Lady of Sorrows and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, First Saturday prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

16) Promotion of the Message of Our Lady of Fatima

17) Daily recitation of the Holy Rosary

18) First Friday devotions

19) First Saturday devotions.  I personally led these every First Saturday of the month from 6:30-7:30 a.m.

20) I gave a monthly “mini-retreat” (in Spanish) on First Saturdays for the Guadalupanas and other interested parishioners from 8:45-11:30 a.m., consisting of the Holy Rosary and a workshop on prayer.

21) Special First Saturday of the month Mass at 1:00 a.m. to help the faithful fulfill the requirements of the First Five Saturdays.

22) Holy Rosary every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. prior to Holy Mass

23) Holy Rosary every Saturday evening at 4:30 p.m. prior to Holy Mass

24) Different devotions and chaplets prayed after every weekend Mass

25) All-day Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on First Fridays

26) All-night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on First Fridays

27) Devotion to the Precious Blood on Thursday nights at 11:00 p.m.

28) At least weekly, I personally took Holy Communion to the sick & homebound of the parish

29) A daily Procession through the neighborhood on the Rogation Days (the three days prior to Ascension Thursday)

30) Promotion of abstinence of meat on every Friday of the year and promotion of the penitential aspect of every Friday of the year

Tragically, since my removal from San Juan Bautista on Sept. 20, 2011, it is not an exaggeration to say that none of the above exists anymore at San Juan Bautista.  It is absolutely shocking!  Masses have been cancelled.  Confessions and Holy Hours have disappeared, etc.


San Juan Bautista is a poor parish, and the weekly Sunday collection before my arrival in May 2002, was usually less than $1,000.00.  Over the course of my 9 ½ years as parish administrator, by the grace and mercy of God, the following building projects were achieved:

1) A beautiful, new tabernacle

2) An initial renovation of the sanctuary including a new addition for the tabernacle, new statues, a new communion rail, and a new marble floor

3) The installation of two magnificent, new Church bells

4) Complete renovation of the parish kitchen, including a brand new tile floor and new cabinets

5) Renovation of the parish hall storage garage with new cabinets

6) A completely new tile floor for the parish hall

7) A new porch for the parish hall

8) A brand new roof for the Church

9) All the Church and parish hall air-conditioning units were replaced with new ones

10) Exterior renovation of the Church:  two new side entry ramps to the Church with railing

11) Exterior renovation of the Church:  a new side-porch to the Church

12) Completely new asphalt for the entire Church parking lot

13) New exterior lighting for the Church and parking lot

14) An entirely new storage building-complex behind the rectory

15) A beautiful new GROTTO to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe with multiple shrines, a fountain, an altar, plaques, gardens [still in the process of being completed when I was transferred]

16) The renovation of the sanctuary and a new high altar according to the norms of the ancient form of the Roman Rite  [still in its initial stages when I was transferred]

Long ago, during the times of Noah, it was only a small remnant that was granted safety from the vicious floods of sin, error, and immorality.  Respice stellam, voca Mariam, “look on the star, call upon Mary.”  Do not let go of the maternal hand of Our Lady of Fatima, for alas, as she promised, this post-Vatican II spiritual deluge shall also pass.  May the good Lord help us, however unworthy we may be, to form part of His faithful remnant.

Fr. Michael Rodríguez

Parochial Vicar, Santa Teresa de Jesús Parish

Presidio, TX

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