On Tuesday 23rd October Srs Loretta and Alicia attended a Mass of Thanksgiving at Salford Cathedral celebrating St Oscar Romero. This event was arranged by CAFOD staff and volunteers of the Diocese of Salford.
There was a tangible presence of joy, thanksgiving and sincere gratitude for the life and work of Oscar Romero in El Salvador where his spirit lives on in the lives of the Savadorean people who still struggle for justice and peace in their homeland. He worked tirelessly to give a voice to thousands of very poor and suffering people and inspired many to work for the coming of God’s kingdom of justice and peace in their lives.
One of Oscar Romero’s challenges to each of us is “Aspire not to have more but to BE MORE”. Mass ended with these words of commitment still ringing in our hearts: “Like Romero, we will serve you and, whatever may befall we will devote ourselves to justice and the common good of all.”
Mass was followed by a very interesting presentation by Steve Atherton, of the Archdiocese of Liverpool Justice and Peace Commission, about his visit to El Salvador with the Romero Trust. Steve has published a journal capturing his experience of visiting El Salvador and accompanied his interesting presentation with stunning photographs. El Salvador is a very small country in Central America. Its natural beauty is very impressive, especially the color of its flowers and natural vegetation. It is a land of striking contrasts and divisions, where a small number of families own most of the land and are very powerful politically. Thousands of very poor families try to grow their crops on very small patches of land of poor quality.
Art is very important for the people of El Salvador, especially the poor. They express their feelings, beliefs and culture through art. It is their most expressive form of communication. It is done in strong, bright colors. Amazing street art captures the faith and the aspirations as well as the struggles of many.
The spirit of St Oscar Romero and his deep desire for justice and peace for the people of El Salvador lives on in the lives of the poor and all who work for the coming of God’s kingdom.
By Loretta, fcJ