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CALL ME CATHOLIC: GUEST IS FR. TOM GIBBONS ON THE RE-RELEASE OF THE FILM, “ROMERO”

Another great show is in the books today!

That said, you really need to revisit Raul Julia’s compelling performance as Archbishop Oscar Romero in Paulist Productions newly remastered release of their classic 1989 film, “Romero.” It’s available on DVD Tuesday.

Thanks, Fr. Tom Gibbons, for sharing with our Call Me Catholic listeners the background story on this great work. Archbishop Romero will be canonized October 14.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/6/18

ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ: MAKE OSCAR ROMERO’S MISSION YOUR OWN

Los Angeles, Calif., Aug 16, 2017 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News) – The 100th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero was a time for Los Angelenos to reflect on the martyred Salvadoran bishop’s virtues and how his vision can be made a reality today.

“One hundred years after his birth, Blessed Oscar Romero still inspires us for his humility and courage – for his love for the poor and his witness of solidarity and service to others, even to the point of laying down his life,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said at an Aug. 13 Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral marking the centenary of Romero’s birth.

“Our brother, Blessed Oscar, had a vision for a new society – the society that God wants – a society in which God’s gifts are shared by everyone, and not only the few,” he continued. “We want to carry that vision forward in our own times, and in our own society.”

Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador was born Aug. 15, 1917.

Amid El Salvador’s bloody civil war, the archbishop preached the importance of Christian love. At a time when government-aligned death squads would kill and abduct opponents of the government, he was a strong critic of government violence against the poor, human rights violations, and corruption, despite many death threats.

He was assassinated March 24, 1980 while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel in San Salvador. Right-wing death squads are suspected in his death.

Pope Francis declared Archbishop Romero a martyr in February 2015, then beatified him in May 2015.

There were three relics of the slain archbishop at the Mass in Los Angeles: the microphone he used to celebrate Mass at the San Salvador cathedral; an autographed photograph he gave to a woman religious who assisted him and was present the day he was murdered; and a piece of cloth with his blood from the day he was assassinated. Many Salvadorans were in attendance.

Archbishop Gomez told the congregation: “we want to ask this great saint to help all of us to live with new faith, new hope and new love.”

“We ask him to intercede for us – to give us courage to continue his project, his ‘revolution of love’,” the archbishop continued, saying that Romero “walked in the company of Jesus and in the company of his people.” He served his people “with a pastor’s love, with a father’s love”

“God gives each of us a mission. It is not just for bishops, like Monseñor Romero,” said the Los Angeles archbishop. “Each one of us, in our own way, is called to build the Kingdom of God.”

Archbishop Gomez cited Romero’s own words: “Let each one of you, in your own vocation – nun, married person, bishop, priest, high-school or university student, workman, laborer, market woman – each one in your own place live the faith intensely and feel that in your surroundings you are a true microphone of God.”

The archbishop emphasized the need for “total confidence in God” despite times of troubles and trials, as in the Gospels when the apostles were at sea in a powerful storm. Even when they saw Jesus approaching on the water, they think he is a ghost.

“We can get anxious about our future or worrying about the things in our lives, that we can think that God is not there for us. But he is,” said Archbishop Gomez. St. Peter was fine as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, but began to sink when he thought about his human limitations and the storms around him.

Despite the struggles and challenges Romero faced, he kept his eyes on Jesus Christ.

“Let us carry the Gospel message of love and mercy, truth and justice into every corner of our world,” said the archbishop. He invoked the patron of El Salvador, Our Lady of Peace, asking that she guide her children “to know the freedom, justice and peace that Blessed Oscar Romero gave his life for.”

The archbishop voiced prayers for those in El Salvador who suffer violence, and those who live in poverty throughout Central America and Latin America, especially for those in Venezuela.

BLESSED ROMERO RELICS WILL BE PART OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MASS IN L.A

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Relics of Blessed Oscar Romero, including a handkerchief with blood from the day he was assassinated, will briefly be part of the U.S. Catholic Church’s Fortnight for Freedom observance July 1 in Los Angeles.

A handkerchief with blood from the day Archbishop Romero was martyred in El Salvador and a microphone he often used when he celebrated Mass every Sunday will be present at a special noon Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels and will be available for public veneration until 2 p.m., said a statement from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Blessed Romero’s relics will join those of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, but the Salvadoran martyr’s relics will remain in Los Angeles and will not travel with the other relics for the closing of the Fortnight for Freedom in Washington July 4.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said Blessed Romero, who was beatified in May 2015, “advocated for Christian love, reminding the people that they were loved by God and that fighting back with Christian charity was the way to victory during the 12-year long civil war in El Salvador.”

Carlos Colorado, a lawyer from Los Angeles who blogs and writes extensively about Blessed Romero, said he was glad that a link was established between the Salvadoran archbishop assassinated during Mass after repeatedly speaking up for the poor and against violence, and the English 16th-century saints who also spoke up during their time.

What links the three, Colorado said, is the idea that “sometimes have you stand up to your own government.” Sometimes being a person of faith will lead others to accuse you of being unpatriotic and disloyal to your country, he told Catholic News Service.

Today, no one questions whether St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher were patriots, he said. And in time, Blessed Romero, too, will be seen as a great patriot in his own country, even though he was accused of the opposite when he was alive and even in death.

“The most important lesson is the idea of being radically faithful. You have to follow your faith even though the consequences are dire,” and you face rejection from the world and sometimes the government, Colorado said. That’s exactly what Blessed Romero faced when he stood up for the poor and the ones who seemed to matter the least in Salvadoran society of the 1970s and 1980s, he added.

“It’s a level of radicalness we’re unfamiliar with,” he said.

Colorado was planning to visit the relics of St. Thomas More with other lawyers and judges from the St. Thomas More Society, a group of Catholic lawyers. But because he was born in El Salvador, and because of his affinity for Blessed Romero as martyr, he said being able to venerate the relics brings a special kind of joy and also gratitude toward Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, who recognizes the presence of Salvadoran Catholics in the community.

Los Angeles has one of the largest populations of Salvadorans outside of El Salvador. In 2010, a census estimate put the Salvadoran community in the area at 350,000 but Salvadoran organizations believe the number to be much higher. Many of them, like Colorado, ended up in Los Angeles after fleeing their country’s civil war, in which Blessed Romero was one of an estimated 75,000 Salvadorans killed between 1980 and 1992.

In his homilies and on radio programs, Blessed Romero called for a stop to violence, particularly for a stop to civilian killings by government forces, even though he was repeatedly threatened. He was killed on March 24, 1980 while celebrating Mass.

Blessed Romero, along with the British saints, is one of 14 “witnesses for freedom” featured during the Fortnight for Freedom, the Catholic Church’s national education campaign on religious liberty.