In Memory of Fr. Jorge Luis Rodriguez CM

by | Jan 15, 2024 | News

Dear Brothers and dear Vincentian Family,

With a heart full of faith and hope in Christ, I inform you of the departure of our dear confrere Fr Jorge Luis Rodriguez, CM, who concluded his earthly journey in God’s mission in Angola. His life, imbued with the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, was a living testimony of God’s love for the poor and marginalised.

P. Jorge Luis Rodríguez, CM was the director who created the Communications Office as you know it today, and for this reason we want to remember him for the fundamental contribution he made to the Congregation.

P. Jorge Luis Rodríguez, CM, with his prophetic vision, has profoundly renewed the way we live our Vincentian mission in the modern world. As Director of the Communications Office, he has embraced new technologies not as an end but as a tool to spread the Vincentian charism. His work in creating the official website of the Congregation has been a beacon of light, uniting confreres in every corner of the world, transforming the digital space into a virtual but profoundly concrete community of faith and service.

P. Jorge was a true son of St. Vincent, a man who saw in the digital world a new mission territory, a place to evangelise and kindle the fire of charity in the hearts of young people. He understood that our charism must be lived and transmitted also through contemporary languages, in order to reach the lives of the marginalised of the digital society.

That is why he was constantly studying and keeping himself up to date, so as not to be left behind and to offer a special service to the whole Little Company. He often worried about brothers working in areas without connection or in countries suffering from the digital divide, because he feared that they would be excluded from the life of the CM, whereas he wanted the digital space to become a chapel where all the brothers could be united in one community. He strongly believed in the need to build bridges between different cultures.

It was during the launch of the first 1% campaign that he felt a strong call to international missions. Preparing the campaign to reach 30 brothers for the missions, he felt within himself, that one of those 30 was him, so he had gone to Angola where he was happy to bring the good news, to answer the call he had organised for the Little Company, the more he promoted the 1%, the more the missionary spirit was kindled in him.

Due to a tragic accident, he has come to the side of the saints and blessed of the congregation to intercede for us; he, who is an expert in communication, will now accept our prayers and help us to present them to God.

Office of Communication

Here is the testimony of Fr. Cleber Theodosius, CM

Jorge through the communication channels of the General Curia even when I was a philosophy student (2015-2017). His skill with the media meant that the topic of vocations was also worked on there, so that he has brought together, virtually, students and missionaries interested in serving the Congregation through communication and vocations, and we have done so, with projects that went off paper, taking place virtually or face-to-face meetings in Peru and France (although I, for formative reasons, have not been present).

When he was preparing for his mission in Angola, we practised in Portuguese so that he could learn the language, and once he was there, we kept in touch. Whenever we needed something for the mission, we went to each other, we became good mission friends, and even from a distance, we helped each other by exchanging materials and information.

His life example inspires me for the mission. Just the day before the accident I forwarded him the contact of a boy (Plinio) who was looking for spiritual guidance and vocational discernment, and he gladly accepted to do the service, contacting the vocationed.

Today, it is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to this one of ours, but I am not afraid to affirm that Father Jorge Rodriguez is happy to have the joy of dying “with arms in his hand,” that is, to pass on to the mission of heaven, from the mission.

In April 1655, while reflecting with the missionaries on the meaning of martyrdom, from the testimony of some companions sent on mission outside France, St. Vincent gathers this understanding of martyrdom as a witness to the Truth: “A missionary… who fulfills his duties perfectly and lives according to the rules of his state, makes it clear… that God deserves to be the only one served and that he deserves to be incomparably preferred to all the advantages and pleasures of the earth. To act in this way is to publish the truths and maxims of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not by words, but by conformity of life with Jesus Christ, and to bear witness to his truth and holiness before the faithful and the unbelievers; therefore to live and die in this way is to be a martyr”.

Moreover, St. Vincent de Paul reminds us that “the salvation of peoples and our own salvation are so great a benefit that they deserve every effort, at whatever cost; it does not matter if we die first, provided we die with arms in our hands; we shall then be happier, and the Company will not be the poorer for it, since ‘sanguis martyrum semen est christianorum’. For one Missionary who has given his life in charity, the goodness of God will raise up many others who will do the good that the first has left undone. (St. Vincent de Paul, Repetition of prayer of 22 August 1655).

Let us remain united in charity in mission!