(para leer en español, haz clíc aquí)
As we begin this Easter season, we close our annual activities in remembrance of the 33rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez.
The official activities began early this year, on March 16th, with the “farolitos” march, during which the people walk from the Salvador del Mundo monument to the cathedral in the evening, carrying candles as night falls. Monseñor Rosa Chavez accompanied the marchers, as well as various community radio programs, the base communities, and visitors from other countries. Mass at the Cathedral was followed by a talent show of sorts into the night. Throughout the following week, popular and ecumenical activities organized by the Romero foundation were held in the crypt, as well as Mass at the UCA, celebrated by Jon Sobrino, SJ and Rafael Sivatte, SJ (homily here in Spanish).
The community of Jardines de Colón in La Libertad hosted a beautiful overnight vigil, starting in the evening of March 23, directed and MC-ed by the youth. It began with a beautiful Mass outside the chapel, followed by different speakers from many sectors of society, including Mauricio Merino, from Radio Cadena Mi Gente, Pastor Efrén Reyes from the Baptist church, and Emma Julia Fabián, an FMLN legislative representative. Afterwards, there was a dance performed by the children, a folklore dance by the women, and a theatre piece about Romero, presented by the youth. As the morning rolled in, around 4:00 AM, people settled down to watch a video about Romero and share atole shuco, a thick, porridgey drink made of, what else, corn.
Other communities held celebrations in honor of Romero as well, like the community in Altavista, in San Salvador, which celebrated its anniversary as a community by developing a Romero-themed Stations of the Cross. The kids in the kindergarten in Agua Escondida also spent the week learning about Monseñor.
On the morning of March 24, the ecumenical march to the cathdedral set out after Mass at the Hospitalito. It was a HOT day, and the coolness of the crypt upon arrival was soothing to body and spirit. Since the 24th was Palm Sunday this year, many marchers carried palm fronds as they journeyed, and these Romero celebrations led us right into Holy Week. At Easter Mass in the crypt yesterday, as we celebrated the empty tomb of Jesus, we stood in the tomb of Romero, knowing that he, too, is risen in the Salvadoran people. As the priest said, “¡Que viva Romero! ¡Que viva Cristo!”
¡Que vivan! Alleluia!
Happy Easter, friends.