Francisco José Arnaiz Zarandona, SJ
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, 2011, an imperf souvenir sheet honoring 50 years of service, and its FDI cancel, Scott 1512
Bishop Francisco José Arnaiz Zarandona, SJ, was born 9 March 1925 in Bilbao (Spain), but he is one of the most outstanding sons of the Dominican Republic, where he first arrived in 1961. It gave him citizenship, but it has benefited from a half-century of his work as priest, teacher, shepherd, intellectual, writer, adviser and friend. Arnaiz entered the Jesuits on 30 May 1941. During his studies he gained degrees in the humanities (Havana, Cuba) and philosophy (Pontifical University of Comillas, Spain), a Doctorate in Theology (Gregorian University, Rome), with specializations in psychology and psychiatry and Ignatian spirituality.
Arnaiz has held many positions, among others: formator and professor in the Seminary of San Ildefonso (Aibonito, Puerto Rico, 1949-52); rector of the Novitiate-Juniorate of St. Stanislaus Kostka, SJ and director of the St. Ignatius Retreat House (Havana, 1959-61); founder and director of the Information and Social Action Center (CIAS) of Santo Domingo, and founder of the Center of Formation and Agrarian Action (CEFASA) (1962-64); director of the Pontifical Seminary Santo Tomás de Aquino (Santo Domingo, 1964-75); secretary general of the Conference of the Dominican Episcopacy (1975-2002); auxiliary bishop of Santo Domingo, episcopal vicar for the Catholic University Santo Domingo (1988); president of the Department of Consecrated Life of CELAM, president of the Dominican Association of Self-evaluation and Accreditation of the Private Universities (1990-95).
Arnaiz has had enormous and wide-spread experience in secondary and university level education in various humanities, scientific and theological specialties. He attended the Second Vatican Council as theologian for Archbishop Octavio A. Sides, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, and since then numerous world-wide synods of Bishops, and other diverse world-wide congresses. His publications include 20 books and as a columnist for the Listín Diario, produced more than 1,650 articles.