Pastoral Notes May 17th, 2015

In 1917 Oscar Arnulfo Romero was born into a family of 15 in El Salvador. He learned to be a carpenter. When his mother was ill he worked in a gold mine in Potosi, earning about 4p a day, to save money for medicines for his sick mother. In 1937 he went to study for the priesthood in Rome, being ordained in El Salvador in 1942. In 1970 he became bishop in an increasingly violent country. In 1977 he became archbishop when his friend, Father Rutilio and two other priests were murdered. His own life was often threatened. He was a CAFOD partner and when his radio station was bombed, CAFOD rebuilt it. On 23rd March 1980 in his sermon he ordered the army to stop killing people. The next day he was assassinated while saying Mass. In 2009 the president of El Salvador said that his government would be inspired by Romero and the option for the poor, choosing to put the most vulnerable people first. On 23rd May 2015 Pope Francis will pronounce him ‘Blessed’ in Rome.