19 August 2015, The Tablet

Romero's beatification celebrated at Mass of Thanksgiving

Oscar Romero, who was beatified in May, is an example to Catholics in an age of migrant crises and poverty, a Catholic bishop said this week.

Bishop John Rawsthorne, former bishop of Hallam, was preaching at a National Mass of Thanksgiving for Romero's beatification.

Above: The Mass at St George's Cathedral in Southwark. Photo: Carlos Reyes Manzo

Bishop Rawsthorne, who represented the Bishops’ Conference at the beatification ceremony on 23 May, made clear Romero’s relevance for our time and place. “Romero is an inspirational figure of our time who points the way for us. Ours is still a world of civil war, of asylum seekers and refugees, of food banks in our own countries,” he said.

Romero, former Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in 1980 while saying Mass. The packed service at St George’s Cathedral in Southwark last Saturday was celebrated by Cardinal Cormac, three further bishops, and a number of other clergy.

Bishop Rawsthorne continued, “True followers of Oscar Romero must listen to that Word of God, and to the reality of our world, and not to be overwhelmed by it, but to let God speak to us, and then it is for us to speak, to act, knowing there will be consequences.”

Above: The Mass. Photo: Carlos Reyes Manzo

The Mass ended with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor lighting a specially made candle in the Cathedral’s Romero Shrine, which houses the huge Romero Cross, created in El Salvador by the Salvadoran muralist Fernando Llort and brightly decorated in the style he pioneered. The Cross contains a fragment of the alb Archbishop Romero was wearing when he was martyred, stained with his blood.

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