Book launch of Oscar Romero’s homilies

Yesterday the Edinburgh Jesuit community hosted an important book launch in association with SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) and the Archbishop Romero Trust. The book is a compilation of Archbishop Romero's Homilies subtitled A Theological and Pastoral Analysis by Fr Thomas Greenan.

The event was attended by Fr Greenan, his family, the Archbishop Romero Trust’s Chair, Julian Filochowski, and over a hundred members of the public from a wide range of backgrounds.

This first English edition covers the life of Oscar Romero and the role of the Church in the life of El Salvador and explores his teachings, including homilies delivered during his time as Archbishop.

Fr Thomas Greenan, originally from Edinburgh and now retired there, moved to El Salvador in the years following Romero’s assassination in 1980. He lived and worked in the Chalatenango area which continued to be a conflict zone. Fr Greenan lived frugally and served the poor, finding great inspiration in the work of Archbishop Romero.

Ahead of the book being published, Fr Thomas Greenan said: "Many thanks to the ‘Archbishop Romero Trust’ for the tremendous job in translating the book from the original Spanish language and also special thanks to all at ‘SCIAF’ for publishing the book and all of their work. It is great to know this book can now be read by many more and I hope those that do enjoy this analysis of Oscar Romero’s homilies."

SCIAF’s Director Alistair Dutton give a talk about Bl Oscar Romero and the background to the book and Julian Filochowski talked about the many places throughout the UK where there are memorials to Romero and where his life and work are remembered. Earlier this year Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Oscar Romero will be canonised in October this year.

The Jesuit Church of the Sacred Heart in Edinburgh is to be the location for a new shrine to Bl Oscar Romero which will house a sacred relic – a piece of the bloodstained alb he was wearing when he was assassinated.

Parish priest Fr William Pearsall SJ said “Bl Oscar Romero died for justice. He became a prophetic voice to the poor in the midst of serious abuses. His was a universal message across denominations. It reminds us that it is necessary to speak truth in the face of injustice. We hope this new shrine will help people to come close to his witness, his story and his prophetic voice.”

The new shrine will be blessed and dedicated at a special ceremony on 14th October, the date of the canonisation.

The Sacred Heart church is commissioning a new painting of Oscar Romero with his friend the Jesuit Rutilio Grande, whose murder by the El Salvador security forces had a profound impact on the Archbishop.

Archbishop Romero’s Homilies is priced at £10 (plus £1 P&P) and can be purchased from the Pauline Bookshop in central Glasgow, by contacting SCIAF on 0141 354 5555 or emailing tmcgoldrick@sciaf.org.uk