Monday, January 28, 2013


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March 24, 2013 will be the 33rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero; it will also be Palm Sunday and likely also be the first big public Mass for the new Pope!  The Romero anniversary will be marked with commemorations around the world.  The following observations stand among the most important celebrations of Archbishop Romero’s legacy each year.
Catholic Church: Day of Prayer and Fasting for Missionary Martyrs

In March 2007, Pope Benedict recognized that the Anniversary of Romero's martyrdom was the reason that the March 24 date was chosen for fasting and prayer for all missionaries who have given their lives for the faith.  The observance has taken hold especially in Asia, where, in India for example, the local Church holds annual observances such as a Romero Way of the Cross.
United Nations: International Day of the Right to Truth

The United Nations General Assembly has declared March 24 “International Day of the Right to Truth” regarding human rights violations, in honor of Archbishop Romero. The resolution was cosponsored by 45 countries, including all five Central American countries and others that include Italy, Greece, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Mexico and India.
San Salvador

The first public commemoration of the anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom in March 1986 drew 10,000 marchers to Romero’s grave at the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador—and the Salvadoran commemoration has grown ever since, drawing Salvadorans and foreigners, who come in delegations, for what has turned out to be a weeklong program of events.  The Salvadoran congress has declared March 24, National Óscar A. Romero Day, as have many cities around the world, including the City of Los Angeles, in California (USA).  The Romero celebrations are sometimes called the “Little Holy Week,” both because of their colorful and extensive nature, and their proximity to Easter Week, which can sometimes require Romero celebrations to be held on a different day—such is the case this year, when March 24 is Palm Sunday. 

This year, because of Palm Sunday, Fundación Romero has announced that the “Great Day” will be Saturday March 16:
3:00 pm — gathering at the Divine Savior Monument
5:00 pm — procession of lights to the San Salvador Cathedral atrium
7:30 pm — Eucharistic celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral

10:00 pm — all-night vigil outside the San Salvador Cathedral for Archbishop Romero

March 18-22, 2013: the Little Holy Week of Conferences, panelists and subjects TBA.

Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom has been commemorated in the Eternal City every year since 1984.  Notable keynote speakers at the Roman commemorations have included the Servant of God Card. Eduardo Pironio of Argentina in 1988, Card. Roger Etchegaray of France in 1986 and 1994, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah in 2005, and notable Latin American churchmen such as Bishop Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas, Mexico, 2001), Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini (Huehuetenango, Guatemala, 2006), and Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez (San Salvador, El Salvador, 2000 and 2010).


Thurs. March 21 — Concert at 20.00.
"The meeting of two springs: Oscar Romero and Johann Sebastian Bach." Trumpet, organ (Gilberto Scordari)
Piazza of the Apostles outside the Basilica of the Holy Apostles

Fri. March 22 — Ecumenical Celebration at 19.00.
"Oscar Romero symbol of the martyrs of justice and peace" with Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Elisabeth Green, Baptist pastor; Matthew Zuppi, auxiliary bishop of Rome
Church of San Marcello al Corso - Piazza San Marcello

Saturday, March 23 — 10:00 am, Public meeting in the Capitol
"Latinoamerican Martyrology" with Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Carlos Cerniak, Embassy of Argentina; Gianni Mina, journalist; Paolo Masini, the municipal council of Rome
Sala Pietro da Cortona, Piazza del Campidoglio

Saturday, March 23 — 19:00 am, Eucharistic Celebration
By the Latin American community
At Santa Maria della Luce - Via Lungaretta

Since 2007, the Romero Trust in London has been organizing Romero Week as the umbrella under which different local, national, diocesan and ecumenical events could be consolidated into a single celebration of Archbishop Romero’s life and martyrdom with special liturgies, masses, talks, film showings, workshops and cultural events throughout Scotland, Wales and England.  The central ecumenical service is becoming a tradition at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, London.  Commemorative homilies have been preached by leading English clergymen, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in 2010; and Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in 2011.  The Church of England recognizes March 24 as the Feast of Óscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador, a recognition that is tantamount to the Roman Catholic process of canonization.
This year, Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International, will travel to different UK cities to present the 2013 Romero lecture.  She is the author of seven books, including “Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings and A Retreat with Oscar Romero and Dorothy Day: Walking with the Poor.” Until recently, she was director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, in Washington, DC and she has visited many conflict areas of the world for Maryknoll and Pax Christi International, including, most recently: Egypt, Colombia, Croatia, Sudan, Iraq, Honduras and Haiti.

18 March — Nottingham: Cathedral Hall at 7.30. 
19 March — Wrexham
20 March — Birmingham: Mass at 2pm at St Chad's Cathedral, followed by talk/reception hosted by CAFOD in the Grimshaw Room
20 March — Coventry: evening reflection
21 March — Oxford: Catholic Chaplaincy Chapel at 7.00pm. 
23 March — London: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. 11.00am 



While hundreds of American Churches commemorate Romero at the parish and diocesan level every year, no single liturgical celebration has acquired the gravity of the celebrations in San Salvador, Rome or London.  Romero followers in the US pool their resources behind a major university conference held each year at the Kelogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University, called Romero Days.  Although the first Romero lecture was held in 1988, it was not until 1999 that the conference began to be held consistently every year.  Past Romero lecturers include Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez (Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, 2002), and many impressive panels drawing top notch luminaries from academia, the clergy, human rights and the legal profession, the arts, and other relevant backgrounds.
This year’s Romero Days program includes:

Thursday — Saturday, March 21 — 23 (McKenna Hall/Notre Dame Conference Center)
Catholic Social Tradition Conference “Peace Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”
Friday, March 22 (8:00pm — McKenna Hall/Notre Dame Conference Center)
Romero Lecture: “Romero as a Peacemaker” by Julian Filochowski, Chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust in England, Former Director of CAFOD

Saturday, March 23 (10:00 am to 11:15 am - Ave Maria Press, 19113 Douglas Road, on the Notre Dame campus)
Romero Days Workshop
A workshop for teachers on how to incorporate a five-day mini unit using the film Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero into any theology course.


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If you know of additional details or events, please post them in the Comments.

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