This week, Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo called on families in the Dominican Republic to celebrate Christmas in a spirit of family unity and respect for human life.
During a Mass celebrated in thanksgiving for the beatification of the Spanish Cardinal Ciriaco Sancha, Cardinal Lopez called on the people of the Dominican Republic to pray fervently for a solution to the latest wave of violence between rival gangs in the country.
“We are seeing many acts of bloodshed, murders and conflict among adults. These are being carried out by out-of-control gangs and for this reason we believe that this Christmas we must turn our attention to respect for human life.”
Spanish Cardinal Ciriaco Sancha was beatified on October 18, 2009. Though he was born in Spain, after becoming a priest, he was sent to the Caribbean to minister to the poor.
Known as “the Father of the Poor,” he founded an order of nuns dedicated to the care of orphans. He later returned to Spain where he became the Archbishop of Toledo.
He died on February 25, 1909 and on his tomb it was written, “he lived in poverty, and he died in utmost poverty.”