Photo: 1st Catholic Archdiocese in the Americas Celebrates 500th Anniversary
With a solemn Eucharistic celebration, presided by the papal legate, Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, Archbishop Emeritus of Sevilla, the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic yesterday concluded the jubilee celebrations for the 500th anniversary of its foundation by Pope Julius II, on August 8 1511.
Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo and prelate of America, called on the Catholic people to participate in the Eucharist at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
In a message which Pope Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez expressed his hope in the celebrations of 500 years of the creation of the first diocese in the Americas in the hope that this event “will bring abundant fruits of faith and commitment of priests, religious and lay people who fervently preach the Gospel”.
In addition to the archdiocese of Santo Domingo, Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere), who with the Romanus Pontifex, formed in the same period the ecclesiastical districts of La Concepcion de La Vega, the island of Hispaniola, and the district of San Juan, in Puerto Rico. Cardinal Amigo Vallejo presided over the ceremony, according to the privileges granted by the Holy See to the papal legates. The ceremony was also celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr. Jozef Wesolows, and other members of the Dominican Episcopal Conference, and one hundred priests and deacons.
The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo, since its foundation in 1511, has had 43 bishops, 32 archbishops and two cardinals, as well as several officials of the Church and apostolic administrators.