Brother Rubén Martínez Ortega, OP, has been elected Prior Provincial at the Provincial Chapter held at the Royal Monastery of St. Thomas Aquinas in Avila, Spain, on 5 August 2021. Following the confirmation by the Pro-Vicar of the Master of the Order, Brother Benjamin Earl, OP, Br. Rubén accepted the election and made the Profession of Faith.
Born on 23 August 1962 in Mazariegos, Palencia, in Spain, Br. Rubén completed his Bachelors studies from the College of Our Lady of the Rosary in Valladolid from 1972 to 1980, underwent the novitiate formation at the Convent of St. Dominic in Ocaña, Toledo, and made his first profession on 21 September 1982.
His initial formation was in the Provincial School of the Covent of St. Peter Martyr in Madrid, Spain, where he did his studies in Philosophy from 1980 to 1983, and his studies in Theology from 1983 to 1987. Having completed his studies, he was ordained a deacon in the year 1986. The following year on June 27 he was ordained a priest at the same convent.
Being a member of the missionary Province of Our Lady of the Rosary, one of the big challenges and requirements was to master the languages where one is assigned. The desire to relate and to reach out to people depends to a large extent on the medium of communication in the place and country of assignation. So, he had made it his mission to master the required languages to carry on his mission and his ministry. He had mastered English language from Edinburg, England, Mandarin Chinese language from Taiwan, and the Tetum language of East Timor. A true Polyglot, he also speaks Portugese.
After completing his military service from 1988 to 1989, he was assigned to Taiwan where he held the following responsibilities: Parish Priest at the Immaculate Conception Church of Tainan from 1992 to 2000; Vicar Provincial from 2000 to 2008; Parish Priest at the national shrine and Basilica of the Immaculate in Bamkim from 2001 to 2013; and Coordinator of the Dominican Family in Taiwan from 2005 to 2007.
In 2013, he was subsequently sent as one of the founding friars of the mission in East Timor where, until his election as Prior Provincial, he exercised the following ministries: Parochial Vicar in a parish of the Diocese of Dili in Hato-Udo; Vicar of the Provincial in the mission from 2013 to 2021; formator of the students from East Timor; Superior of the community of St. Dominic at Dili, East Timor from 2017 to 2020; and chaplain of one of the Universities where he also taught Ethics. He has also organized the Dominican Sisters, Dominican Youth groups, and Rosary Groups in East Timor.
Having visited most of the countries where his Province has apostolic presence, he certainly comes with considerable experience. A true missionary, he is now entrusted with the responsibility of shepherding the Mission Province for the next four years. We commend to your prayers our brother’s service to the Order and to the Church.