17 October 2018, The Tablet

God passed through El Salvador

St Oscar Romero

God passed through El Salvador

A banner of St Oscar Romero in San Salvador last week


I’m not used to rockets being fired off into the night sky every two minutes during Mass from a launch pad beside the sacristy door. But this is no ordinary Eucharistic gathering. It’s 00.30 hours on Sunday morning, local time, in the village of Arcatao in the north of El Salvador, a mere three miles from the border with Honduras.

Around 400 people have gathered at the church of San Bartolomé to hear the Jesuit celebrant, Father Miguel Vasquez, reminisce about the visit of Archbishop Oscar Romero in August 1979. He asks for a show of hands to indicate those who were present that day. Among those who raise their arms, in the row in front of me, is an elderly woman with a bright yellow T-shirt emblazoned with the image of Romero’s face.

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