Romero commemoration in York Minster

Dr John Sentamu   (Picture:  Lars Karlsson)

Dr John Sentamu (Picture: Lars Karlsson)

More than 500 participants attended an ecumenical service in York Minster  on Saturday, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the martyrdom of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. The presider, His Eminence Cardinal Keith O'Brien and the Anglican Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu who preached, are among the patrons of the Archbishop Romero Trust, who  coordinated the service,  with CAFOD workers of Middlesbrough Diocese.

The service was attended by the Ambassador of El Salvador to the Court of St James, His Excellency Werner Romero, whose father worked as a journalist with Monseñor.

Before the service began, participants were welcomed by the Dean of York, Very Rev. Keith Jones. The Dean and Chapter of the Minster took part in the service. The presider was His Eminence Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. He and the Archbishop of York, who preached, are among the patrons of the Archbishop Romero Trust.

The Prior of the York community of Carmelite Friars, Fr Tony Lester, O.Carm., welcomed the congregation on behalf of the Archbishop Romero Trust, and outlined the life, death and legacy of Monsenor Romero.

Images of Oscar Romero were projected onto a large screen as Fr Tony sketched out the Archbishop's life. A litany of sorrow was led by the Catholic Bishop of Hallam, Rt Rev John Rawsthorne.

After readings from the Old Testament, by the Quaker Chaplain to the University of York,  and one of Oscar Romero's Sunday homilies (by a Middlesbrough Diocesan CAFOD worker), the Gospel was proclaimed by Rev. David Gamble, President of the Methodist Conference.

The homily was preached by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. The Archbishop spoke of his own visit to El Salvador just weeks after the assassination of Monseñor Romero. He described Romero as truly a saint who let the light of God shine through him.

A litany of commitment was then led by Rt Rev Terence Drainey, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough in whose Diocese the service took place.

The Our Father and Sign of Peace were introduced by Sr Mary Walmsley, superior of the Bar Convent community of the Congregation of Jesus. The service concluded with a prayer and blessing given by Cardinal O'Brien.

After the service Cardinal O'Brien met with members of the congregation, including students from the University of York Catholic Chaplaincy (served by the Carmelite friars), and members of the York and Leeds Carmelite Spirituality Groups.

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Source: Carmelites, British Province

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