Today, we honor Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, in El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived. He preached a prophetic gospel, denouncing the injustice in his country while supporting the development of popular and mass organizations. He became the voice of the Salvadoran people when all other channels of expression had been crushed. March 24 has been recognized as the feast day of Oscar Romero in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. In February, Pope Francis recognized the holy martyrdom of St. Oscar Romero of El Salvador.
Read More: Sainthood of Oscar Romero
Collect for Today: Almighty God, you called your servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.
Opportunities to Serve: Today, there are several ways in which you can be active in supporting and lifting the voices of those who are poor and oppressed:
1) At St. Thomas: Donate one hour of time to the Food Pantry. Come on Thursdays from 8:00-9:00 a.m. to stock shelves, prepare hospitality, and set up our “Parish Hall Grocery” along with client volunteers. Shop with clients from 10-12. Make a pot of soup or bring in some sandwiches at noon to nourish our volunteers from community and parish as we break bread together after pantry closes. Listen to the stories of our clients, and work side by side to alleviate food insecurity in Richmond’s Northside.
2) Wherever You Are: Visit your local food bank, food pantry, or free clinic. Ask a staff member what their clients need and what the gaps are in groceries, hygiene supplies, or other needs. Listen to the needs, and pray for how you might respond: donations, organizing a “supply drive” or offering volunteer support. Poverty remains invisible, unless we choose to open our eyes. Step in with your eyes and heart open to seeing the strengths and the needs of those who experience poverty and oppression in your community.