Bishop Patrick, as a new Trustee of CAFOD, visited El Salvador earlier this year and experienced first hand the legacy of Oscar Romero. He is inviting the people of Nottingham Diocese to learn more about the soon to be Saint (the canonisation takes place in Rome on 14 October) and on Monday 26 November he will be hosting an evening at The Becket School in Nottingham. Bishop Patrick has invited two people to come and share their experiences and knowledge of Romero with us. Clare Dixon, CAFOD Head of Region – Latin America and member of Romero Trust; along with Ciara Hogan who visited El Salvador as part of her CAFOD Gap Year last year when she was based at The Briars. The evening will begin with refreshments at 7pm and finish at 9pm.
Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until he was assassinated in 1980. During his three years as archbishop, Romero repeatedly denounced violence and spoke out on behalf of the victims of the civil war. In a time of heavy press censorship, his weekly radio broadcasts were often the only way people could find out the truth about the atrocities that were happening in their country. He defended the right of the poor to demand political change, a stance which made him a troublesome adversary for the country’s rulers. On the day before his assassination, he urged soldiers and police not to follow orders to kill civilians and stop the repression.
Archbishop Romero was shot dead on 24 March 1980, aged 62, while celebrating Mass. In the following decade, some 70,000 Salvadorans were killed in the civil war.
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. CAFOD also helped to fund the support given by the Church to thousands of people who had fled their homes because of the violence. After Romero was martyred, CAFOD staff successfully petitioned Lambeth Council to rename the Brixton street where their office was located ‘Romero Close’. And when CAFOD moved to a new office in 2009, it was named ‘Romero House’
For more information and to book your place please contact
Family Fast Day is on Friday 5 October and we offer an invitation to eat simply – perhaps by giving up a meal, or just having a bowl of soup – and make a donation to CAFOD? It could save someone’s life.
Every life around the world is precious, but I’d like to tell you about a mother in East Africa. Longora lives in Uganda – 14 hours from the capital – in a remote village that has no electricity, no gas and no hospital nearby.
The area is so hot and dry, people struggle to get enough clean water to survive. A few years ago, when Longora was in the late stages of pregnancy, she became seriously ill after drinking dirty water from a local river. She gave birth while she was still sick. Because of the water, her baby was also born seriously ill. She said: “Ten people died from drinking river water then. My baby died too.”
No one can bring Longora’s baby back. Hearing from her, it is clear the loss stays with her. It was obvious her community needed clean water and – thanks to donations from people like you – CAFOD repaired the well in her village and trained local people in how to maintain it, so they can fix it if it breaks again. Now Longora and her neighbours have a reliable supply of clean, safe water.
Two weeks ago I popped in to visit our neighbours, the Poor Clare sisters. Catching up with each others news is always good! Their community is growing from 4 to 17 as another Convent in North Wales is closing and the community moving to Nottingham. So we remember them in our prayers as they face these new opportunities and challenges.
I updated them on the Share the Journey campaign and passed over some of the campaign cards. This morning after Mass, Sr Lily asked me to pop in again. ‘We did our walk on Saturday, the feast of St Clare, and I have some photos for you’.
They walked around their garden, joining in solidarity with the many, many Catholics in England & Wales who have now walked over 100 000 miles!
‘It was only a short walk, not much’, Sr Lily told me. I assured her that whatever the distance, their participation is wonderful!
I also heard today that the parish of Alfreton & Clay Cross are organising a walk on Saturday 15th September. So don’t worry if you hadn’t taken part yet. There is still plenty of time!