Worker Institute joins delegation to El Salvador to honor Bishop Romero

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Worker Institute faculty joined an official delegation of US labor activists and community leaders to participate in the beatification of Bishop Monsignor Romero

Worker Institute faculty member Patricia Campos-Medina was part of an official delegation to participate in the beatification ceremony of Monsignor Romero, the beloved Salvadoran Bishop who was killed as he gave mass in 1980 for his support of the poor and criticism of violence against civilians. His assassination by the Salvadoran military became emblematic of the Salvadoran civil war’s violence. His death turned him into a martyr for Salvadorans and he became a symbol of hope during the 12-year war that killed more than 75,000 civilians and left thousands of people disappeared.

After 35 years of opposition from the Vatican, Pope Francis, the first Pope from the Americas and whose own work in Argentina was characterized by his commitment to the poor, ended the opposition and declared Romero a Martyr, killed out of hatred for his faith.  His beatification opens the door for his eventual elevation to Sainthood.  The beatification ceremony took place in San Salvador, El Salvador on May 23rd, 2015. More than 500,000 people attended the ceremony on the public plaza of the capital.

“Romero was a hero for us Salvadorans during the darkest moments of the Civil War, and the recognition of his sainthood by the Catholic Church gives the Salvadoran people affirmation that their hero has finally been given the acknowledgement as a symbol of hope for those who struggle for justice,” states Patricia Campos Medina.  “It is an honor for me to be part of this historic moment. Romero is an iconic figure in Latin American history and his beatification will elevate his life as an example of hope for those fighting for social justice all over the world.”

The Worker Institute was invited to be part of the official delegation of US labor activists and community leaders led by SHARE El Salvador, a US based foundation based in San Francisco, CA. SHARE works in solidarity with and among the Salvadoran people in five key areas; leadership development, women empowerment, citizen participation and environmental sustainability.

SHARE also supports organizing efforts among Salvadoran workers in the free-export zones in El Salvador and supports the struggles of public sector workers against privatization in key sectors of the Salvadoran economy.  Patricia Campos-Medina was a SHARE Board Member from 2000-2005, and is currently an advisor for their Women Empowerment and Leadership Development Programs.