I Love The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Who Lives Within Me, Now and Forever. Amen

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Johnny Rodriguez - AKA "Arthanius"

Juan Rodriguez is currently the Pastoral Minister of Queen of Angels Parish in Sunnyside, NY. He is the founder of Defenders of the Holy Trinity (a young adult organization created to support Catholic Youth and Young Adults in New York on their formation of the Catholic Faith). Born and raised in the LES (Lower East Side of Manhattan), Juan is 33 years old, married to his beloved, Bertha Peralta, otherwise known as “B”. A Newyorican who speaks a little bit of Spanish, raised a Catholic by his parents, Pedro and Angela Rodriguez, who are long time members of St. Mary’s Church in the LES. When growing up, he lived a pretty interesting life, mixing in with "head-bangers" (those into heavy metal) and the "hoods". He came to the realization that God was calling him to a life of service, which began with a girl who God used to change his life. He began his journey back to God when he realized how far he had wandered off, away from the grace of our Lord. With the help of his parents, Juan was spiritually educated and formed, and later served as an activities leader for a youth group named “Jovenes Unidos En Cristo” (Youth United in Christ), a Charismatic youth group that was stationed at St. Mary’s to help youth come back to the Lord.

While spending his time serving that youth group, Juan saw that the youth leaders he encountered, both at the parish and in the Charismatic Renewal, were not studying their faith. He saw that some of these leaders were in danger of falling away from the Catholic faith or were endangering the souls of the many youth under their care. He also saw that there was an increase anti-Catholic attacks from Christian Denominations (Protestant), Quasi-denominations (JW’s, Morman’s, etc), and philosophical teachings that were leading many Catholics away from Jesus. With the grace of God and the help of his good pal, Nelson Feria, they began “DHT”.

DHT later experienced some set backs when Juan and Nelson entered the seminary, never to work at the project, but to seek God’s will in their lives. Both left the seminary, not for bad reasons at all, but believed that God was calling them to married life. They both felt that God was calling them to share their experiences with youth about seeking God’s will, especially when it came to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. With that in mind, Johnny and Nelson brought “DHT” back to life, inviting some of the most dynamic and inspirational leaders to join in our mission to evangelize youth and young adults of New York. Those people were George and Lily Velez, Fr. Anthony Melendez IVE., Robert Tapia, Mark Jovik, Alexandra Bastien, Rossy Orosco, Bertha Peralta (My Wife), Arthur Tsui, and Br. Andrew Tsui. As a team, they dedicated themselves to teaching youth and young adultshow to live and defend their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church.

From his conversion back to the faith, to the creation of DHT, Johnny believes this was a major adventure for him. The name “Arthanius” explains his adventure back to the Church. It comes from two names, “Arthur”, which symbolized his storytelling days, and “St. Athanasius”, the patron saint who is honored with the title “Defender of the Catholic Faith”. Later, the name “Arthanius” was used for a web site called “The Land of Arthanius”. A web site to help Catholic youth and young adults learn about their faith. It was also designed to help any youth and young adult leader find resources for their personal vocations, instruction on the Catholic Faith and to gain resources for their personal needs. To him, “The Land of Arthanius” represents the very adventure Johnny went through to find the Truth in Christ!

Other things Johnny has done and things he likes to do:

Served as Director of Activities at Jovenes Unidos En Cristo, under Chris Aybar – Coor. (Misses him a lot, hope he comes back to New York)

Worked as a Customer Sales Representative at Alba House Cornerstone, Alba House St. Paul Book and Media Center, and Alba House San Pablo Libreria, under Br. Kevin Cahill (Some of the best memories serving under BK and the brothers. Won’t forget Mark, Bill, Br. Ben, Ben, Sonia, Padre Ernesto, Vince, and Arthur ).

Worked as a volunteer with Pauline Books and Media Center (The Daughters of St. Paul), under Sr. Joshua, and new manager - Sr. Nancy (A dear friend and awesome sister)

Served as contributing writer with Youth Dream, under Fernando Sosa and Jonathan Castillo. Also a contributing writer with The Defender, located in Virginia, under James Fritz, Chief Editor.

Worked as a Customer Sales Representative of Youth 4 JC (Now EVENTS 4 JC), under Fernando Sosa (Long time friend and supporter whom I love dearly as my brother).

Served as Director of Communications at Pastoral Juvenil Norte Manhattan, under Fernando Sosa and Arelis Morillo. At the present, Johnny is one of the advisors with Fr. Joseph Espaillat, Arelis Morillo, Deacon Luis Feliz, Bertha Peralta, and Nelson Leclerc, under Gina Mateo. IT WAS SERVING PJNM THAT I MET MY LOVE - BERTHA PERALTA!

CO-Founder of the Young Catholic New Yorker Bible Study Community for Catholic Young Adults in New York and continue to serve the community which is a family group of DHT.

Serves as a Catechist for RCIA at St. Mary’s Chu

Served as co-coordinator of the Altar Servers Ministry at St. Mary’s Church

Serves as the Young Adult Leader of “Magnificat” at St. Mary’s Church

Serves as a member of the “Primer Encuentro Project” for the Hispanic Affairs office of the Archdiocese of New York, under Mr. Juan Blanchard, Cynthia, and Fr. Joe.

Continues to help in the development of new Catholic Youth and Young Adult groups and ministries in the New York area. Also, in the strengthening of existing groups and ministries in Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn area.

Served as a Religion Teacher for St. Raymond’s High School for Boys (Bronx), under Br. Dan and Lisa Cornelius (WHO I WILL MISS VERY MUCH! NO WORDS CAN EVER EXPRESS THE GRATITUDE I HAVE IN MY HEART FOR HIRING ME TO BRING JESUS TO THE YOUTH OF ST. RAY’S!)


Oh man, where do I begin.

1. Going out to the Movies with my Wife
2. Playing Hand Ball with my godson and my friends
3. Playing softball
4. Going to special parties for friends, family and groups
5. Spending time with my Grandpa in watching movies and playing Dominoes
6. Spending time with my friends
7. Spending time with my family
8. Spending time with my Fiance and her family
9. Writing short stories
10. Love animals (Fish, Cats, and Dogs – LEAVE THE ROACHES!)
11. Going to out Museums, and seeing what ever New York has to offer.
12. Love Christian Rock, Rap, and the Classics (Favorite Bands – Jars of Clay, Mercy Me, Third Day)
13. Lord of the Rings FAN!!!
14. Love rainy days, cool days, and days where I can take long walks on the East River Park.
15. Love to travel, but hate planes. (God made me to walk – if he wanted me to fly I would be superman, but that ain’t happening anytime soon.)
16. I love Martial Arts, Boxing, Kick Boxing, and Sword Fighting
17. Love the Food Network and the History channel.

Pray for us St. Athanasius,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Anonymous willy said...

Yo Johnny! What up? I need a invite Bro... to the wedding.... I want to bring my new homegirl up to meet you.

shoot me an email Bro,
Willy Putty Ministries

1:10 AM  

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