‘The last shall be first’ – CAFOD joins the Romero Trust to mark the anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero


On Saturday, 22 March, CAFOD Westminster’s Tony Sheen joined around 250 people at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, for a special service to mark the 34th anniversary of the martydom of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Thirty-four red roses, one for each year since Oscar Romero’s death, were placed beside a statue of the Archbishop. Reverend Richard Carter, of St Martin in the Fields, and Father Martin Maier SJ, a member of the German Province of the Society of Jesus, gave inspiring talks on the importance of Romero’s teachings on our lives today. Father Martin said that “the heart of Romero’s spirituality and his pastoral action was the Option for the Poor”, adding that “it is also at the heart of Pope Francis’ spirituality”.

An extract from Archbishop Romero’s homily from 5 November, 1978 was read. Part of this said:

“The greatest among you must be your servant….The greater an individual is, the more authority a person has – none of this should be manifested by phylacteries or tassles or garments. Greatness and authority should be demonstrated by service and simplicity – by being the first to offer oneself.”

“Oscar Romero continues to be an inspiration for all of us at CAFOD,” said Tony Sheen. “His work fighting injustice in El Salvador guides and inspires our work with people living in poverty and injustice around the world today.”

You may wish to use CAFOD’s Romero reflection when making the stations of the cross in your parish. You can download it here.

Earlier this year, Tony Sheen took part in a Romero Trust pilgrimage to El Salvador, where he visited many important locations and learnt much of the story of Romero’s life and work. If you would like to arrange for him to come and share his experience with your parish, contact CAFOD Westminster on 0208 449 6970 or westminster@cafod.org.uk.

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