Father Rodas incardinated to the Diocese of Orlando

May 24, 2024
Bishop John Noonan, second from the right, incardinates Father Dubernay Rodas Grajales, second from left, into the Diocese of Orlando, May 22, 2024. Present for the official incardination was Father Richard Trout, left, and Father John Giel, Father Rodas, and vicar general and chancellor of canonical affairs. GLENDA MEEKINS | FC

ORLANDO  |  What was meant to be a one-week stay to assist his friend during Holy Week, turned into a five-year visit at the Diocese of Orlando for Father Dubernay Rodas Grajales.  He arrived during Lent in 2019, and served with former fellow Dominican priest, Father Alfonso Cely. Seeing the need at St. Ann Parish in Haines City, his friend introduced him to Bishop John Noonan, who accepted his application for incardination.

Born in El Aguila, Colombia, Father Rodas is the youngest of 11 children, three of whom have gone to eternal rest. He was ordained to the Dominican Order of Preachers April 29, 2006, after completing his graduate work at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. He holds degrees in philosophy and sacred theology.

Father Rodas loves to read, do research, and write articles, mostly dealing with Catholic ethics and morals. Before arriving in central Florida, he served as master of novices for the Dominican Order of Preachers. He assisted Father Cely at St. Ann for three years, growing in his pastoral gifts and sharing them with the community.

“The most beautiful thing that has happened to me, other than the opportunity to develop my pastoral skills, is to continuously serve in the parish, which has reinvigorated my priestly vocation,” Father Rodas said. “At St. Ann, Father Cely’s support encouraged my pastoral growth through the celebration of Mass, accompanying families and pastoral groups, and taking part in the development of strategies for parish life at St. Ann’s. All of that was a basis for me.”

When Bishop Noonan asked him to serve as administrator pro-tem of Centro Guadalupano in Wahneta in 2022, Father Rodas said he found a welcoming community, very guided by the will of God, desiring to collaborate with His plan.

“That community also reinforced my call and desire to become a diocesan priest.” He added his time at St. Mary Magdalen in Altamonte Springs further confirmed that vocation and clarified his path. “I am grateful to Father Alfonso Cely for opening my path to the Diocese of Orlando and introducing me to Bishop (John) Noonan,” said Father Rodas. “It is with gratitude to my order for the formation it provided and to the diocese for the opportunity to further develop my ministry of pastoral care, continuing to serve God’s Church in the name of Christ and sharing His mission with the people of the diocese.”

He said he has felt God’s guidance throughout these five years and only hopes to respond in kind, by helping build the Kingdom of God in the Diocese of Orlando.

Looking ahead, Father Rodas said he only tells God one thing: “I am at the service of whatever God’s Church needs. My heart’s only desire is to continue to serve God.” Rodas was incardinated to the Diocese on May 22, 2024. He serves at St. Mary Magdalen Parish as parochial vicar.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, May 24, 2024