Saints can often seem like other-worldly figures, remote from our modern-day experience. But on October 14, 2018, Pope Francis canonized the beloved Archbishop Óscar Romero, who served until as recently as 1980 in El Salvador, the country in which he was born. Archbishop Romero had long been considered a heroic and pious figure the world over; with the canonization, he became El Salvador's first saint.
Sacred Heart's 2nd graders had the opportunity to engage in cross-curricular study about Saint Romero in both Spanish and religion classes, led by teachers Clarisa Vela and Katherine Gates.
A prayer service was planned in which students would celebrate Saint Romero's life and the student-designed crosses in the style of a Salvadoran cross, would be blessed.
At the prayer service, students had the privilege of meeting a woman who had known Archbishop Romero in her village in El Salvador and whose family had known the saint as a young boy. Clivia Campos (pictured at right in photo), who has had a longstanding relationship with the Dowdle family, spoke of her memories of the humble and caring priest whom she knew as "El Monseñor." She said that at the time she never dreamt that one day he would be called "saint." She recounted her family's memories of Óscar's younger days in the village, and the promise that was seen in him because he was so bright and possessed such deep faith even as a boy.
Señora Campos told the students how, as a priest, Saint Romero inspired El Salvador's people to organize and seek justice. She said, "We are supposed to help one other; to love and take care of each other. We have to do what the Lord says ... Archbishop Romero is our saint. A saint among us."
To see the process taken to make the crosses, click here.