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“In works of justice, we heed the words of St. Oscar Romero.” – Fr. Steven Huber’s, CSB Reflection On St. Oscar Romero – Windsor, ON.

March 25, 2024

In 2018, the General Chapter of the Congregation of Saint Basil voted to include St. Oscar Romero in the list of Patrons of the Congregation. His canonization, which was announced just prior to the chapter, played a major role in this decision.

Oscar Romero is an important figure in the life of the Church in Latin America. He was born in El Salvador in 1917, and ordained a priest in 1942. In 1970, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador. He became the archbishop of that same city in 1977. As Archbishop, Oscar Romero was an outspoken advocate for social justice, especially after of the death of his friend, Fr. Rutilio Grande, SJ.

Due to his outspoken stance on social issues, Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at the Hospital de la Divina Providencia. Much of Latin America immediately recognized Romero as a Martyr. However, the Church did not officially declare this until 2015, when Pope Francis issued the decree for his beatification. He was canonized in 2018.

During Romero’s life, the Basilian congregation established its presence in Latin America. In 1961, the Basilians began serving in Mexico, and in 1987, Basilians began serving in Colombia. In both countries, Basilians serve in Parishes, and also work to confront hunger, unemployment, violence, and poverty. Our apostolates provide opportunities for people to learn trade and employment skills, and also provide spiritual direction, psychological assessment services, legal aid, medical clinics, and other educational opportunities.

Basilians also engage in promoting justice issues in the US and Canada, through The Basilian Centre for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation. Among other works, The Centre manages a Human Development Fund, which provides assistance for programs that promote justice and peace, and which empower the poor and marginalized.

In this work of justice, we heed the words of St. Oscar Romero:

“When we struggle for human rights, for freedom, for dignity, when we feel that it is a ministry of the church to concern itself for those who are hungry, for those who have no schools, for those who are deprived, we are not departing from God’s promise. He comes to free us from sin, and the church knows that sin’s consequences are all such injustices and abuses. The church knows it is saving the world when it undertakes to speak also of such things.”

St. Oscar Romero, Pray for us!

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