The road to life as a Maryknoll priest was paved with hardship, tragedy, inspiration and hope for Fr. Roberto Rodriguez. Born in El Salvador, he was forced to leave his homeland at age 23 and became a refugee in the United States. He fled his country running from a violent 12-year civil war that claimed the life of his brother Alfredo. As a boy, he had the desire to be a priest and throughout his life he recalls being drawn to the charism of sharing the Gospel with people of other cultures, especially the poor.
Fr. Roberto is currently a missioner in Ueno, Japan. He and a team of missionary disciples serve the Parish of Infant Jesus. Carmen Muray Ochante is one of the people who works with Fr. Roberto and inspires him in his work. She teaches the children and says, “Most children at this parish are migrant children from Peru, Brazil, Vietnam, Bolivia, Kenya and the Philippines.
They are learning that we are all brothers and sisters.” Carmen’s daughter Rosa explains that the parish is so grateful to have Fr. Roberto as their pastor because he understands the migrants and as well as their experiences and speaks their language. Rosa says, “We are a multicultural church. We come from different countries, but we form only one body of Christ.”
Read more about Fr. Roberto and watch a video on his parish at maryknollmagazine.org
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