Alberto Rodriguez joined the Diocese of Harrisburg earlier this month as the new Diocesan Archivist. Rodriguez holds membership with the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists, The American Geographical Society, The Society for American Archeology, The American Historical Association, The American Philatelic Society and the Society of American Archivists.
As the Archivist for the Diocese of Harrisburg, he is responsible for seeing the artifacts of the Curia are arranged and safeguarded in accordance with Canon Law and in accordance with up-to-date practices of the Vatican and archival standards.
His position is also one of caretaker of the relics of the Diocese, and of preservation of the history of the Diocese, as well as of artwork entrusted to the Diocese. He also works to locate, copy and certify copies of sacramental records as requested.
“Growing up, I always had a passion for history, books and historical documents. I would spend my time watching historical documentaries and reading historical books. This passion stayed with me through my life, and because of that passion for history, I am currently finishing a graduate’s degree in history and working on a thesis on the history of the Catholic Church in America,” Rodriguez said.
“To be honest, this is my dream job,” he said. “I get to not only work with and preserve historical documents for those that will come after us, but I am also able to work with historical artifacts and most importantly I am working for the Church, something that I have wanted to do.”
“This is not only a job but it’s also a ministry,” Rodriguez said. “As the Archivist, I will have the opportunity to serve not only the members of the Diocese of Harrisburg, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, but I will be able to do every historians’ dream, and that is to help to not only conserve our history and our historical artifacts and documents for future generations but also…to hopefully influence the younger generation in learning the importance of history.”
Rodriguez is a member of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is an Army Veteran of 15 years, with multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and South Korea. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his children, and is an avid reader, postage stamp collector and camper.
“The archives are of vital importance to all members and organizations of the Diocese of Harrisburg,” Rodriguez said. “In the Archives, we have the full history of the Diocese of Harrisburg, we have the religious history of any and all those Catholics that have lived within our Diocese and have taken part in the Sacraments of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The Archives does not only accumulate papers, but we are a resource of the history of the Catholic faith here in Harrisburg and the entirety of the United States.”
Currently, the Archives Office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to approximately 1:30 p.m. Further information on schedules will be announced through Diocesan communications. Those who have questions or who would like to volunteer with the Archives should contact Rodriguez at email@example.com or 717-657-4804, ext. 214.
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness