Today, 11 July, is two years since the death of Michael Evans, Bishop of East Anglia. To coincide with the anniversary it has been announced that a huge Romero Cross and Reliquary will be erected in the Metropolitan Cathedral of St George Southwark, in honour of the martyred Archbishop Romero, and dedicated to Bishop Michael Evans.
The three-dimensional painted Salvadoran Cross (four metres high), containing a fragment of Archbishop Romero’s blood-stained alb and his zucchetto, will be installed in September.
Commissioned by the Archbishop Romero Trust specially for St George’s, the faces of the Cross were designed by the renowned Salvadoran artist, Fernando Llort. Completed in Llort’s workshop in the village of La Palma, the Cross was dispatched to Britain by international courier last month.
Alongside a bust of Oscar Romero, the Cross will stand inside the Cathedral between the St Joseph and the St Patrick chapels. It will create a special ‘Romero Space’ for prayer in honour of the revered modern martyr - who was assassinated in San Salvador thirty three years ago in the middle of celebrating Mass.
The decision to create the Romero Space in St George’s brought great joy to the late Bishop Michael Evans in his last months. Himself a priest of the diocese of Southwark, he had a special devotion to Archbishop Romero as a great witness to Christian faith and the model of a bishop who inspired his own episcopal ministry.
The Romero Space celebrates the life and death of Archbishop Romero but the Cross also provides a very fitting memorial to Bishop Michael, to whom it will be dedicated.
There will be an ecumenical Service of Prayer, including the blessing and dedication of the Cross, which will inaugurate the ‘Space’ on Thursday September 19th 2013 at 6pm.
Archbishop Peter Smith will preside. Msgr Ricardo Urioste, the 88 year-old former Secretary and Vicar General to Archbishop Romero, plans to travel from San Salvador and will give the homily.