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Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Chairman, Committee on International Policy
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
March 24, 2005
As we commemorate the Lord's Supper this Holy Thursday, we pause to recall that great priest and pastor, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated on this date twenty five years ago.
His memory and his message are as alive today as ever, not just in El Salvador but throughout much of the world. He continues to inspire people who thirst for peace and for justice in our war-torn and broken world.
The formal process of beatification of this Servant of God, a process this Conference of Bishops formally endorsed five years ago, is moving forward. In the meantime, the beloved Archbishop is already commemorated by many, in the words of Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga of Brazil, as "St. Romero of the Americas."
We pray today especially for the Salvadoran people, whether in El Salvador or here in the United States, where so many of Archbishop Romero's faithful have come to build new lives in peace and freedom. We send greetings of solidarity to the present Archbishop of San Salvador, Archbishop Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, his Auxiliary Bishop, Gregorio Rosa Chávez, and all the faithful of El Salvador. May the prophetic witness of Archbishop Romero continue to guide the whole Church of America, the one America which the Holy Father calls on us to build in justice and solidarity.
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