1933 – 1986 (May 2)
Francisco Javier Rodriguez Sanchez was born in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, on December 3, 1933, the son of Placido Rodriguez and Otmaro Sanchez. His primary education was obtained in Cuba and his secondary education at Mount Assumption Institute in Plattsburg, New York. He graduated in 1955 from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, with a B.S. degree. Francisco was received into the novitiate in 1957 and professed simple vows on September 10, 1958. He was solemnly professed three years later. He pursued philosophical studies at Villanova University and theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC. He was ordained to the priesthood on February 9, 1963 in Washington, D.C.
In 1963 Father Rodriguez was assigned to teach at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. One year later he was transferred to Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA, where he remained for five years. In 1970 he became associate pastor of Holy Rosary Church, Lawrence, MA. In 1970 he returned to Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC, to teach and to work in administration. In 1974 he was assigned to Biscayne College, Miami, FL. There he was instrumental in establishing and organizing the bilingual institute. The students affectionately called him "Father Rod." He was a confidant to young and old alike and made everyone feel comfortable and at ease. His jovial and nonchalant manner masked a man whose faith was deep and whose love for and ministry to his many friends knew no bounds.
He met his final challenge of cancer in a manner which inspired others and was for many testimony of his love for and belief in the Risen Lord. The former dean of Saint Thomas University's Bilingual Program died in Miami, FL, on May 3, 1986 of cancer. He was 53. Father Rodriguez is buried in his family plot in Miami, FL.