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214 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

spiritual wealth of the liturgy. He started a magazine,

Liturgy and Christian


, in which he published articles on liturgy that he translated into

Spanish from English and French journals.

He gradually gathered a number of students and professors together

in a Liturgy Circle that met at the University Center. He taught them how

to live out the liturgy and the Easter mystery of Christ’s dying and rising,

especially at the Easter Vigil.

He organized Christian Life days for the students to renew their spiritu-

ality through the liturgy. He promoted the active participation of the laity

in the Mass and the use of the vernacular. Carlos anticipated a number

of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, especially those found in


Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy


Sacrosanctum Concilium


Carlos did not let his deteriorating physical condition get in the way

of his calling. He knew he was rising with Christ even as his body was

dying. He kept reminding his disciples at the university that they should be

joyful because they are called to live the joy and hope that Jesus brings

with his Resurrection. He frequently said, “

Vivimos para esa noche de la


” (We live for the night of the Resurrection). He entered eternal

life on July 13, 1963, at age forty-four.

A crowd that traveled to Rome from Puerto Rico cheered and waved

their island’s flag in St. Peter’s Square on April 29, 2001, when Pope John

Paul II beatified Carlos Manuel Rodriguez. The pope pointed out that this

lay activist witnessed the fact that all Christians are called to pursue holi-

ness “in a conscious and responsible way.”

Blessed Carlos loved the Eucharist, which is the center of the liturgy.

Remarkably, in the twenty years before the Second Vatican Council

when the voices for liturgical renewal were being heard from Benedictine

monks, scholarly theologians, and visionary priests, this alert Puerto Rican

layman showed university students how to base their faith life on the lit-

urgy, especially the Eucharist.