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  • Writer's picturePhil


Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was born in a small village in

El Salvador in 1917. Ordained priest, he was known as a quiet and unassuming pastor. By 1977, amidst the political and social turmoil suffered by his country, he was therefore seen as a neutral choice to be its Archbishop. Courageously, however, he began to speak out against violence and his homilies supported the demands of the poor for economic and social justice. He refused to be silenced and continued to preach even under threat of assassination. On 24th March1980, whilst presiding at Mass, Archbishop Romero was assassinated by a gunman. He has since been widely regarded as a martyr for the faith.

“A Church that doesn’t provoke any crisis, that doesn’t unsettle.

A word of God that doesn’t get under any one’s skin,

that doesn’t touch the real sin of society around us, what Gospel is that!?

Christ's Gospel is courageous, news of Him who came to transform."

"It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction

of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete,

which is another way of saying the Kingdom always

lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said;

no prayer fully expresses our faith;

no confession brings perfection,

no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No programme accomplishes the Church’s mission,

no set goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay the foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything

and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.

This enables us to do something and do it well.

It may be incomplete, but is a beginning, a step along the way,

an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,

but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are the workers, not the master builders,

Ministers, not messiahs.

We are the prophets of a future not our own."

God our Redeemer,

whose Church was strengthened by the faithful and outspoken witness of Oscar Romero: may we in our lives

proclaim the hope of resurrection

amongst those with whom we live,

and in the place of your calling;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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