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Br. Steve Herro's Blog


Br. Steve HerroBr. Steve Herro, O. Praem., professed solemn vows to the Community of St. Norbert Abbey in 1991. For several years, he headed the justice and peace ministry of St. Norbert Abbey and presently serves as Manager of Mission and Ministry, Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, VA. His current ministry connects him to national Catholic issues and Church ministers throughout the country.

DISCLAIMER: This blog represents Br. Herro's own opinions and experiences. It does not represent an official position or opinion of neither of the organizations, St. Norbert Abbey nor Catholic Charities USA, nor of any of the organizations' members.

March 1, 2015
Entry #37: "Suggested canonization present for the people of El Salvador and its Latin American neighbors"

by Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

I was a malleable high school, college, and divinity school student in the 1980s when Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and his country were being racked by violence and civil war. And the United States was right in the middle of it, as a trainer of Salvadoran soldiers at Fort Benning, Georgia, and supplier of weapons to the Salvadoran government. Some of these soldiers and weapons were used by the government to bring harm and even death to local Salvadorans deemed a threat by the national government.

On March 24, we will mark the 35th anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He was gunned down while celebrating morning Mass. As Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, he consistently challenged the national government to stop terrorizing the lives of Salvadorans deemed a threat to the government and to begin to provide real economic opportunities for the peasant class in El Salvador.

If the name Archbishop Romero sounds familiar, it should. On February 3, 2015, Pope Francis formally recognized that Archbishop Romero was murdered for his faith, and not for pure political reasons. What this practically means is that Archbishop Romero’s cause for beatification will be given a green light; full speed ahead to canonize this 20th-century martyr.

Will the United States Church and government respond to the surge of interest in Archbishop Romero and the Salvadoran Church? The humanitarian U.S.-Mexican border crisis, which has elevated the plight of tens of thousands of unaccompanied Salvadoran, Honduran, and Guatemalan children asylum seekers, remains an important focus for Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities. President Obama has recommended $1 billion in the 2016 budget to explore reasons and solutions to the Central American migration crisis. Will the U.S. Catholic Church support this budget request? And, will the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops finally join Catholic leadership from many U.S. religious orders, including the Society of Jesus, Order of Friars Minor, Sisters of St. Francis, Columban Fathers, Maryknoll Fathers/Brothers/Sisters/Lay Missionaries, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and Pax Christi USA by requesting that the U.S. Congress finally defunds the training of foreign soldiers used by many national governments to impose fear on their own citizens at Fort Benning? I doubt that there is a better way to honor the good Monseñor Romero (as my Salvadoran friends affectionately refer to their first saint).


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