Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Year of Father Rother

Father Stan Rother was murdered 25 years ago, but his memory still lives large in his native Oklahoma and in his adopted homeland.
Father Stan Rother so endeared himself to the Tzutujil over 13 years as their parish priest that they still feel his loss today, a quarter century after his murder by a paramilitary death squad. Caught between the revolutionary poor and the military government in Central America’s longest and bloodiest civil war, Stan refused to preach rebellion, but his pastoral devotion to his people eventually cost him his life.

July 28 marks the 25th anniversary of his death. Declared a martyr and since proposed for sainthood by the bishops of Guatemala, Stan was an ordinary man who found extraordinary courage in his faith.
. . .
Oklahoma City Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran has declared 2006 “The Year of Father Rother,” encouraging Oklahoma Catholics to pray for the native martyr’s canonization. The archbishop plans a memorial Mass in Rother’s hometown of Okarche on July 19. He will also lead a weeklong tour to Santiago Atitlán in late July, where the local Guatemalan bishop will preside at a memorial Mass on July 28, the 25th anniversary of Rother’s death.

You can read the entire story in the July issue of St. Anthony Messenger here.