Archbishop Romero to be commemorated at Notre Dame

Author: Arts and Letters

The 27th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be commemorated at the University of Notre Dame March 27 and 29 (Tuesday and Thursday) with a panel discussion, a Mass and a lecture by Judge Victoria Marina de Aviles of the Supreme Court of El Salvador.

The panel discussion, “Human Rights in El Salvador Today,” will be held at 12:30p.m. March 27 in Room C103 of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Panelists will include Judge Aviles; Neris Gonzales, a Salvadoran Catholic Church worker and plaintiff in the recent Florida trial of Salvadoran military leaders responsible for torture and other human rights abuses during their country’s civil war; Douglass Cassel, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights; and John D. French, associate professor of history at Duke University and visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute.

Following the discussion, a Mass for women who serve in Latin America will be celebrated at 4p.m. in the Church of Loretto at Saint Mary’s College.

Judge Aviles also will give the annual Romero Lecture, “El Salvador’s Reform of the Judiciary,” at 8p.m. March 29 (Thursday) in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center. The lecture will be in Spanish, but an English translation will be available.

Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated by a right-wing death squad while presiding at Mass on March 24, 1980, in a hospital in San Salvador. His outspoken advocacy of human rights, his denunciations of U.S. military aid to El Salvador, his call for Salvadoran military personnel to disobey immoral orders, and his insistence that the Church be inseparable from the poor all made him a figure of some controversy beforeand after his death.

Archbishop Romero has been officially recommended for canonization by the Catholic Church in El Salvador, and he is already widely venerated as a martyr in his native country, throughout Latin America and in the United States.

The events are sponsored by Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC) in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute.

Contact: Rev. Robert S. Pelton at 574 631-8528 or

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on March 21, 2007.