At noon this Saturday, 28 March, there will be an ecumenical service at St Martin in the Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, London, to mark the 29th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's assassination. The preacher on the theme, 'From Cross to Resurrection' will be Fr Frank Turner SJ and the event is organised by the Archbishop Romero Trust.
It was Monday 24 March 1980 and El Salvador was on the brink of civil war. Archbishop Romero was celebrating a memorial Mass in the hospital chapel where he lived and his homily was a reflection on John's gospel: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest". He concluded and moved to pick up the chalice and the paten with the words "this body broken and this blood shed for human beings encourage us to give our body and blood up to suffering and pain as Christ did not for self but to bring justice and peace to our people..."
He was then gunned down at the altar.
A single bullet entered his body just above the heart. Romero slumped to the floor at the foot of a huge crucifix and died soon afterwards. In his three years as Archbishop of San Salvador he had became the voice of the voiceless poor, speaking out wherever human rights were threatened.
The Romero Trust recommend: Through the Year with Oscar Romero: Daily Meditations
Darton, Longman and Todd
Also in Central London on 28 March, a 'Put People First' Rally will be held in Hyde Park at 2pm. CAFOD and other agencies have organised this event in order to challenge G20 leaders about jobs, justice and climate change. On 2 April, the leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies will be meeting in London to discuss how to tackle the recession and global financial crisis.