IF YOU ARE PLANNING AN EVENT IN YOUR CHURCH OR COMMUNITY, these materials can be incorporated into regular services, or provide content for a special anniversary event, such as an ecumenical service on that weekend. If you are an organizer, you can support this program by promoting the anniversary in your local church networks, inviting ministers and priests to focus on the theme, incorporate the penitential and commitment rites in their services, reflect on Romero's challenge to the church in their homilies, and to distribute the reflection piece as a bulletin insert. The commitment of churches to this program should also result in concrete commitments to the work of justice. Promotion of local Central America work or other justice and peace programs should be part of these anniversary commemorations.
The penitential rite and the rite of commitment are the anchors of this liturgical resource. Roman Catholics have been called by the Vatican to a 6-year preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. The first year's theme is the call to penance for the failures of the church. The Romero materials can contribute to these reflections by focusing particularly on this theme in terms of the gospel mandate to promote justice and to be in solidarity with the victims of injustice—the poor and oppressed peoples in our world and community. It is a time to examine and repent the role of Christians in creating and perpetuating structures of injustice, especially the spread of poverty, the concentration of great wealth, and the over consumption of this society—perpetuating this sin through participating in or benefiting from this unjust system, or by silence in the face of it.
Given the state of our world, clearly All Christians are called to this repentance and conversion.
We include a reflection piece using quotes from Romero and questions and prayers for reflection. This can be used as a bulletin insert, handed out at your events, or form the basis of group reflection in discussion groups, Bible study groups, campus ministry retreats, schools, etc. We also include suggested themes for homilies using the two sets of suggested readings.
If you would like more background on the economic situation of our world, with special emphasis on Central America, for your homilies, group reflections or for your events, our task force has a tabloid entitled, Announcing the Year of God's Favor, focused on issues of international economic justice and their challenge to us as people of faith. Ordering information is on the back of this page.
If you would like more background on Romero, we have published a 46-page booklet entitled, "Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Prophet to the Americas," which includes a biography, a section on his challenge to the church, and other reflections, with liberal use of quotes from his homilies and pastoral letters. A flier with ordering information is included in this packet.