BE. Cardinal
Juan de la Caridad García Rodriguez
Archbishop of Havana

Mons. Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez was born in Camagüey on July 11, 1948, into a simple family – his father was a railway worker and his mother was a housewife – where several children were born.

He entered the “San Basilio Magno” Seminary in El Cobre as a teenager and subsequently concluded his theological training at the “San Carlos y San Ambrosio” Seminary in Havana as part of the first group to complete the entire period of priestly training in Cuba. and that its 15 members were ordained between December 1970 and 1971, with the exception of Mons. Juan García who was ordained in the parish temple of Morón on January 25, 1972, when he had not yet turned 24 years of age.

Episcopal Motto:
“Go and proclaim the gospel”
(Mc 16,15)
Episcopal Shield







His first years of priestly ministry were exercised in the current Diocese of Ciego de Ávila (erected by Pope John Paul II in 1995), both in Morón and in the capital city of the province and Jatibonico. Later (1989) it was transferred to Florida Parish and other neighboring communities. He was the author of the Popular Devotionary “We Cubans pray to God” and founder and director of the school for missionaries of the Diocese.

On March 15, 1997, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Camagüey (with the title of Bishop Gummi de Proconsolare) and received episcopal ordination in the Temple of Mercy in the city of Camagüey on June 7 of that same year, with the imposition from the hands of Mons. Adolfo Rodríguez Herrera, who had also ordained him as a priest. His episcopal motto is: “Go and proclaim the Gospel.”
At the end of 1998, the Diocese of Camagüey was elevated to the rank of metropolitan headquarters, that is, Archdiocese, with Mons. Rodríguez Herrera his first archbishop. Years later, upon the resignation of the Archbishop, Mons. Juan García Rodríguez assumed this pastoral service on June 10, 2002.

Aspects of his priestly and episcopal life

He presided over the 1st National Assembly of Missions held in Havana in 2006.
Elected President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba in the month of February 2006, a period in which he represented the Cuban episcopate at the V General Assembly of Aparecida (2007) and invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit Cuba, in the words that I addressed to him on the occasion of the Visit ad limina in 2008.

In February 2007 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

It corresponded to Mons. García Rodríguez the celebration of the Beatification of Bro. Olallo Valdés OH on November 14, 2008. As well as beginning the Beatification process of his predecessor, the current Servant of God Mons. Adolfo Rodríguez Herrera

Throughout his fourteen years as pastor of the Camagüey church, he has accompanied several works started by his predecessor, such as, for example, the operation of the “San Agustín” Seminary to welcome young people with a priestly vocation and accompany them in their first years of formation. . Likewise, the experience of a small farm that supports the self-consumption of the Diocesan House and other soup kitchens serving those in need, etc.

He was part of the first group of pilgrims who made the route of “The Route of the Virgin” from Cayo Morales – Bahía de Nipe (Mayarí) to the Basilica of El Cobre, on the occasion of the Preparatory Triennium for the Marian Jubilee for the IV Centenary of the Finding of the image of the Virgin of Charity.

It has maintained the link of “Sister Church” between the Archdiocese of Camagüey and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis (USA), as well as bringing to almost completion the Home for the Elderly that the Archdiocese of Camagüey is building in memory of its first deceased archbishop.

He presided over the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the City of Puerto Príncipe (Camagüey), which involved the restoration of several temples in the city.

He is currently a member of the Permanent Committee of the COCC and President of the National Commissions on Missions and Family, which is why he was elected as a representative of the Episcopal Conference to the Ordinary Synod on the Family in 2014.

Man who has been characterized by his simplicity of life, apostolic dedication, prayer, and experience of virtue. In a special way his sense of brotherhood with the priests, both with gestures of great understanding, service and support, as well as discreet and firm authority.

Undoubtedly, according to the characterization made by Pope Francis, it can be said that whoever has been named Archbishop of Havana is a shepherd who “smells like sheep.”