Restoring Hope. Archbishop Oscar Romero`s Vision for a Just World (In HIs Own Words)
CATEGORY: Latin American Theology
CATEGORY: Oscar A. Romero
CATEGORY: Pastoral Resources
Living in hope, Archbishop Romero engendered hope in the people he served. Sustained by Christian hope, he gave hope to many, especially those treated as non-persons. Practicing hope, he revealed that there is always room for a better world although warning about false messianisms. The one who lived by Christian hope and inspired hope in others paid the ultimate price: death… a violent death. He joined the countless martyrs throughout history who suffered the consequences of daring to live with hope and inspire hope in others. Yet in death he continues to inspire many. His message remains as relevant as ever because hope does not end until fully achieving its goal. As long as we need to long for a world in which injustice, marginalization and violence are no more, Archbishop Romero’s message of hope will remain alive.
In this book we encounter an exquisite selection of Archbishop Romero’s own words about hope. These quotes come directly from the homilies he preached since the time he was appointed as Archbishop of San Salvador until the day of his untimely death. Each quote is an invitation into the heart and mind of someone who lived with a profound sense of Christian hope. Reading and reflecting upon these words is an invitation into a journey of Restoring Hope.
Oscar A. Romero, born in Ciudad Barrios, on August 15th 1917, studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained priest in 1942. He served the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years. In 1967 he moved to San Salvador as Secretary General of the National Bishops’ Conference. With little pastoral involvement he lived in the Jesuit-run seminary and became speechwriter to the Nuncio. In 1970, appointed Auxiliary Bishop, he expressed frequent criticism of the social involvement of the clergy that had come in the wake of the Medellin Conference of the Continent’s Bishops. In 1974 he was named to the rural diocese of Santiago de Maria and found himself once more caught up in the rural people’s struggle for survival.
In 1977 he was the surprise choice as San Salvador’s new archbishop. Over three years he became the voice of the voiceless poor, speaking the truth about the violations of human rights and the exploitation of the poor. His weekly sermons were legendary and gave hope to the communities suffering terrible repression. He saw six of his priests and dozens of lay leaders assassinated by the security forces before he himself was gunned down at the altar as he celebrated a requiem mass on Monday March 24th 1980.
He is venerated in Latin America and throughout the world as a Vatican II Bishop who made a fundamental option for the poor and gave his life for his people. The cause for his Beatification was accepted in Rome in 1997. Ten years later Pope Benedict XVI stated “that Romero himself merits beatification, I do not doubt." And now Pope Francis approved his canonization for October 14th, 2018. He can now be called Saint Romero of the Americas.
Hosffman Ospino, PhD is professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry where he also serves as Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry.
Félix Palazzi, STD, is professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry. He also holds a teaching position at the Jesuit`s Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela.
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