Worship Service Honoring Memory of Archbishop Oscar Romero Planned for Wednesday, March 16

DALLAS (SMU) -- Professor Harold J. Recinos, Professor of Church and Society at Perkins School of Theology, will preside over a Chapel service commemorating the 36th anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 16.

Other participants in the service include: Dr. Christopher Anderson, Associate Professor of Sacred Music; soloist David Luckey; Robin Murray; Joshua Manning; Eric Markinson; and Jesseca Assiz.

Oscar Romero was born in 1917 in El Salvador. He was ordained a priest in 1942 and, after being an auxiliary Bishop, he was appointed as Archbishop of El Salvador in 1977. Recently, Pope Francis formally that Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as a Christian martyr, and the beatification of the prelate is expected.

The members of the commission of theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave their unanimously positive vote about the martyrdom suffered by the Archbishop of San Salvador.  Romero was archbishop of San Salvador during the bloody and conflict-filled time leading up to El Salvador's civil war (1979-1992).

On March 24, 1980,  Romero was shot dead with a single marksman's bullet just as he began to offer the bread and wine at a Mass he was celebrating in the little chapel at the cancer hospital where he lived with the Carmelite sisters.  Romero read the gospel and preached about the centrality of the sacrament of communion in the life of the faithful.

In the homily, Romero remarked, “May this body broken and this blood shed for human beings encourage us to give our body and blood up to suffering and pain, as Christ did-not for self, but to bring justice and peace to our people.  Let us be intimately united then in faith and hope.”

As these words in the act of consecration were spoken, a shot rang out in the Chapel,  Romero fell back to the foot of the Cross behind the altar, and died from the single shot to his heart.   When asked of death threats,  Romero replied, “If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.”


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music (June 2016) as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.