Thursday, September 24, 2015

The new “Romero” Parish


Site of the new, future parish.
After the announcement that the Diocese of San Bernardino, California, in the United States will build a new parish to be called “Blessed Oscar Romero”—the first in the US (and probably in the world) to bear the name of the Salvadoran martyr bishop—we ask ourselves how the process by which the Church integrates Romero into its life of holiness and devotion is progressing. Super Martyrio has learned that various California dioceses are considering requests to allow the veneration of Romero in their jurisdictions, where many Salvadorans immigrants now reside. But “he has not been registered in any particular calendar,” according to an official at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments contacted by Super Martyrio.
That has not stopped several tributes to the Salvadoran martyr, particularly in Latin America. For example, on the day in which Romero was beatified, a chapel bearing his name was inaugurated in the parish of San Juan Bautista, in Rio Branco, Uruguay. The Bishop of Melo, Msgr. Heriberto Bodeant, presided over the ceremony. Before Romero’s beatification in May, this chapel was called the Chapel of the Latin Americans Martyrs, but the name was changed in honor of Romero as soon as his holiness was officially recognized. Similarly, in Santiago de Chile there is an Oscar Romero Chapel in the Cristo Evangelizador y Solidario parish. In Canto Grande, Peru (in the outskirts of Lima) there is an Oscar Romero Chapel in the parish of El Señor de la Esperanza (Diocese of Chosica). Meanwhile, In El Salvador, the land of Blessed Romero, the church promulgated liturgical revisions introducing Romero’s name alongside the ancient martyrs and saints mentioned in the canon of every Mass celebrated in the country, during the Eucharistic prayers.
The Riverside County (California) Press-Telegram has confirmed that the Romero Parish in Eastvale, San Bernadino, will be the first among the 17,000 parishes in the United States under the name “Oscar Romero.” But the Romero Parish is only in the planning stages. The place where it will be built is still an empty 10 acre lot these days (photo). A fire station will be built nearby. When the new faith community is inaugurated on November 29, the first Sunday of Advent, they will probably celebrate Mass in the auditorium of the high school in the neighborhood. The diocese does not yet have estimates of the cost of building a new church, or a date it expects it to be completed.
Reactions to the news have been positive. A church spokesman told reporters that the diocese has been flooded with phone calls, emails and Facebook messages after the announcement.

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