Celebrating Oscar Romero

Phil MSchool Volunteer Phil Mayland reflects on his visit to St John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle under Lyme to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero.

St John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle under Lyme, held a Mission Day on Thursday 20th July, to study and reflect on the life of Blessed Oscar Romero. Each Year Group focused on a particular aspect of Romero and El Salvador, and spent time preparing for an outdoor Mass on Friday 21st July.

The school invited visitors from CAFOD and Missio to lead students in their preparation with each year group preparing specific parts of the Mass. Jo Boyce of CJM Music rehearsed the music with the school’s musicians and practiced the singing with all the students on Thursday. I was asked to work with Year 9 students, who prepared bidding prayers inspired by the life of Blessed Oscar Romero.

RomeroOther year groups worked with the  Art, Technology and English departments in designing Romero Crosses, creating large Murals depicting Romero and El Salvador and writing prayers and poetry.

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Mass was celebrated the following day. Fr Paul McNally, the school chaplain, concelebrated Mass with Fr Rob Taylerson and Fr Anton Madej. This was a very special occasion attended by the whole school and invited guests and was a fitting and memorable way to end the academic year.

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Join us at our Retreat on 18 November in Solihull to explore how Romero’s life and faith can inspire and transform our world. 

Oscar Romero Week 2016

Archbishop Oscar Romero

Archbishop Oscar Romero

As part of Oscar Romero Week which falls 15-19 March, the Birmingham Diocese will hold the annual CAFOD Romero Mass in St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on Tuesday 8th March, 1-2pm which everyone is welcome to attend.

Every year in March, there is a week of talks and reflections to celebrate the work and legacy of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

We, at CAFOD, work hard to raise awareness and continue in the tradition of Archbishop Romero’s social justice initiatives and work closely with the Archbishop Romero Trust.

Oscar Romero is a very important figure who spoke out against injustice and reminded us that Christ is found in people living in poverty, and that we cannot ignore the suffering of our brothers and sisters in need.

Find prayers and reflections inspired by Romero

Elected Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, he spoke out for the victims of the civil war and denounced the violence in his region.

In the 1970s, CAFOD supported Romero’s famous radio broadcasts, which – at a time when the press was heavily censored – were often the only means by which people in El Salvador knew the truth about the atrocities occurring in their country.

When Romero’s radio station was blown up, CAFOD provided funding to rebuild it.

Archbishop Romero was shot dead on 24 March 1980, aged 62, while celebrating Mass. On the day before his assassination, he urged soldiers and police not to follow orders to kill civilians, and stop the repression.

Every day, his contribution to social justice is remembered and reflected in all the work we do.

Find out more about our work in El Salvador

Romero – a symbol of friendship in Birmingham Archdiocese

What motivated Romero?  “Friendship”, said a little boy on the back row.  Last Friday 16 March, CAFOD helped launched a week of Romero anniversary events across the UK, starting at Birmingham cathedral.

About 150 people attended a beautiful Mass, followed by a talk, video and discussion about Archbishop Romero’s contribution to the Church’s mission of peace and justice.

“Please tell the people of El Salvador never to give up their struggle for justice”, said a man in a wheelchair.  A lady added, “Do you know if people there pray for us?  We need their prayers too”.

These messages will be shared at Romero events in El Salvador during the coming week, expressing our solidarity with those who continue Romero’s work for justice there.