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Oscar Romero 1917 - 1980 Credit: CAFOD Oscar Romero was born on 15 August 1917 in El Salvador, Central America. When he left school he became a carpenter,

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Presentation on theme: "Oscar Romero 1917 - 1980 Credit: CAFOD Oscar Romero was born on 15 August 1917 in El Salvador, Central America. When he left school he became a carpenter,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Oscar Romero Credit: CAFOD

3 Oscar Romero was born on 15 August 1917 in El Salvador, Central America. When he left school he became a carpenter, but soon decided he wanted to become a priest. An ordinary person

4 El Salvador at the time A few rich families owned lots of land. Most people were poor and earned very little. People became very angry at this unfairness but the rich were very powerful. People who complained were put in prison or even killed.

5 In 1977 Oscar Romero became the Archbishop of San Salvador, the capital. He was a quiet, shy man and nobody thought he would speak out about how poor people were being treated. They thought he would be too afraid. A quiet man

6 Romero’s friend, Fr. Rutilio Grande, worked with poor communities. He spoke out about how unfair things were and demanded better living conditions for poor people. For this he was shot dead. His death upset and angered Romero, who insisted his death be investigated. This never happened. A friend’s influence

7 “Many would like the poor to keep on saying it is God’s will for them to live that way. But it is not God’s will for some to have everything and others to have nothing. That cannot be of God.” A voice for the voiceless Romero stopped being a quiet man and told the truth about what was happening to poor people in his country. In weekly sermons on the radio he spoke out against the violence.

8 Even though he was afraid that he would be killed, his strong faith in God helped him carry on. “If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadorian people” A brave man

9 On 23 March 1980, Oscar Romero appealed on the radio for soldiers and police officers to stop repressing the people. The next day, as he celebrated Mass, a car drove up and a shot was fired through the open church door. Oscar Romero was killed.

10 Caritas Australia partners continue working for justice in El Salvador alongside the poor. Caritas Australia in El Salvador

11 Through his life and through his death, Oscar Romero remains a powerful example and inspiration for all who believe in working for justice.

12 fact challenge Millions are voiceless in their struggle against injustice. Speak out. Write a letter. Join a campaign. How can I use my freedom of speech to speak out against injustice? action be a voice God of Justice Give me the courage to raise my voice in solidarity with those facing injustice. ‘ ’ silence is consent

13 be just God of Justice Give me the determination to continue to work for a just world. ‘ ’ “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” Nelson Mandela Join/Start a social justice group. Buy fairtrade. Own your actions. fact The richest 10% of the world controls 89% of the world’s wealth. The poorest 10% controls less than 1%. (UNU-WIDER) challenge How can I be just in my daily actions? action

14 be aware God of Justice Give me the resolve to seek out the truth. ’ ‘ “Do we help the poor if we do not ask why they are poor? ” Dom Helder Camara fact We read, watch and hear breaking news 24 hours a day challenge How do I find out about the issues facing my brothers and sisters? action Be informed. Get involved. Seek the truth.

15 be in God of Justice Give me courage to stand beside those fighting for justice. ’ ‘ “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa solidarity Stand up for justice. Think globally. Act locally. fact We are all part of one human family. challenge How can I stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised? action

16 be green God of Justice Give me the spirit to be more rather than to have more. ’ ‘ “It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” Wangari Maathai (First African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize) Rethink. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repair. fact challenge Will I consider the implications my actions have on the environment? action Exploitation of resources, often by the powerful few, has irrevocably changed our world.

17 be giving God of Justice May I be generous with what you have freely given so my sisters and brothers can live life to the full. ’ ‘ “Every time we share our goods with our neighbour in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love.” Adapted from Pope Benedict XVI Lenten Message 2008 fact “The earth belongs to everyone, not just to the rich.” St Ambrose challenge How can I give of my time, my resources and my life? action Support the work of Caritas Australia. Share your talents. Volunteer.

18 Picture credits Sean Sprague Equipo Maiz CAFOD Caritas Australia Last updated Jan 2012

19 The Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development


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