On Wednesday 26th March, the Diocese of Birmingham marked 34 years since the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, as he celebrated Mass in a chapel in San Salvador.
Many schools signed up to attend a session led by Matthew Neville of the CAFOD Birmingham team. Matthew spoke of Romero’s influence on the work of CAFOD and about the ongoing injustice to be found in El Salvador. The students had a great time in a very practical workshop, involving carrying buckets on their heads and thinking about how they would spend limited resources.
Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrated an uplifting Mass. In his homily, he spoke passionately of the inspiration of his trip to El Salvador with CAFOD in 2009. CAFOD volunteers, who work with CAFOD in parishes, schools and deaneries in campaigning, fundraising and educating, were thanked for their enthusiasm and hard work.
Mass was followed by a talk from Julian Filochowski, Chair of the Romero Trust. Julian spoke of Romero as a secular saint and spoke movingly of his death, including playing a short clip of the sound of Romero saying Mass as gunshots rang out. Romero’s legacy lives on in the work of organisations like CAFOD, who still work for justice and peace within El Salvador, having been a partner of Romero’s in his lifetime.