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March 12, 2021, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Humberto Ruíz Castillo (1897-1966) – respected engineer and architect and the father of Adrian Dominican Sisters Margarita “Margot” Ruíz, OP, and Teresita “Tete” Ruíz, OP – was honored recently during a special Mass marking the beginning of a renovation project on a chapel he designed. 

Participants in the Mass celebrating the upcoming renovation of the Catholic chapel at the Palacio Nacional.

Humberto Ruíz Castillo designed a chapel located in the Palacio Nacional and dedicated to Archangel Raphael. The Palacio Nacional houses the executive offices of President Luis Abinader and Vice President Raquel Peña de Antuña. The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop of Santo Domingo Francisco Ozoria Acosta.  

Sister Margot said the special event also focused on her father’s work. She and Sister were unable to attend, but their nieces and nephews represented the family. Members of her family were also asked to provide anecdotes about the architect for a book that will be written about his life and work.

“We are so proud,” Sister Margot said. “After the ceremony, my nieces and nephews were so proud to know that their grandfather was so good, so appreciated, and so intelligent.” 

Humberto Ruíz Castillo designed and constructed several Catholic churches, as well as the Colegio Santo Domingo, the grade school and high school opened and staffed by Adrian Dominican Sisters. He also had a profound impact on his students at the University of Santo Domingo, passing on what he had learned in Europe and introducing them to Art Deco. In addition, he founded the Dominican Republic’s first association of engineers and architects.  

Humberto Ruíz Castillo has long been recognized for his contributions to the Church and to the Dominican Republic. In 1949, the Vatican consecrated him in the Order of St. Gregory the Great, one of the Orders of Knighthood bestowed by the Vatican in recognition of meritorious service to the Church. He was also named Diocesan Architect.

In addition, the Dominican Republic issued commemorative stamps in his honor in May 2018. On that occasion, Sister Margot recalled, her father was remembered as someone who was “very honest, disciplined, and generous – an example to all society. He put his heart into everything he did.” 

Feature photo: This chapel at the Palacio Nacional, the executive building of the President of the Dominican Republic, was designed by Humberto Ruiz Castillo, father of Sisters Margarita and Teresita Ruíz, OP.

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July 13, 2020, Portland, Oregon – The Adrian Dominican Congregation received Honorable Mention from the Catholic Press Association (CPA) for Best Free-standing Video Depicting Religious Life. 

The announcement was made during the CPA’s virtual awards banquet at the end of its virtual Catholic Media Conference, originally scheduled for June 29-July 2, 2020, in Portland, Oregon.

The video, Bringing Love: Espíritu Santo Fe y Alegría School, focused on the 25th anniversary of the school, founded by the Baní community in the Dominican Republic with Sisters Maurine Barzantni, OP, and the late Renee Richie, OP. Part of the Congregation’s Annual Christmas Appeal, the video was filmed and edited by Scott Miller, while Ashley LaVigne served as interviewer and production coordinator. Both are Co-workers in the Congregation’s Communications Department. The efforts were coordinated by Amy Palmer, Director of Development, and Angie Kessler, Director of Communications.

The video faced stiff competition. Other award winners in that category were America, a national magazine produced by the Jesuits, first place; Catholic News Service, a national Catholic news agency, second place; and the Archdiocese of Detroit, third place. Also earning Honorable Mention was the Grotto Network, a website and social media network begun by the University of Notre Dame to engage youth and enhance their faith.

Bringing Love was a collaborative effort of the Communications and Development Offices. Also serving in Communications are Sheila Wathen, Assistant Director; Ashley Saxton, graphic designer; and Sister Barbara Kelley, OP, writer and editor. Serving with Amy in the Office of Development are Diane Bach, Office Coordinator; Laura Brosamer, Office Assistant; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, Donor Relations Specialist; Catherine Witt, Development Office Coordinator; and Jolene Witt, Office Assistant. 



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