Masses and a Pilgrimage: Immigrants Celebrate Romero Canonization

Youths who took part in the National TPS Alliance traveled to the Vatican to attend the canonization of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero. (Photo by Erik Villalobos via El Diario)

The faithful from all over the tri-state area headed to the Vatican to take part in the canonization ceremony of El Salvador’s martyr Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, which will be led by Pope Francis on Sunday, Oct. 14 at St. Peter’s Square. (…)

Among the 19 pilgrims are 13 children from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, San Francisco and Las Vegas whose Salvadoran parents are beneficiaries of temporary protected status (TPS).

Cecilia Martínez said that her 17-year-old son Steven is in the group scheduled to have a private audience with Pope Francis. “They delivered a letter to the Holy Father in which they asked him to make a request to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform so that beneficiaries of TPS like me can have access to permanent residence,” said Martínez. “I feel blessed to be the mother of one of the pilgrims.”

The youths gave the pope a red T-shirt with the names of the 13 countries that have received TPS and a painting alluding to Romero and the cause of immigrants.

As part of the official events organized to celebrate the canonization, the Consulate General of El Salvador in New York invited the public to a special Mass to be held Oct. 13, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (229 W 14th St., Manhattan).

A Monsignor Romero-themed mural painted by Latin American artists will be unveiled. It also depicts other elements, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Divino Salvador del Mundo (the “Divine Savior of the World,” a famous statue in San Salvador), tropical flowers and other characters.

Singer and traditional music professor Aracely Sánchez was part of the collective effort. “As an artist and as a Salvadoran living abroad, it has been a privilege to be able to donate my time and resources to the creation of the mural dedicated to Monsignor Romero, which I know will be a window into New York for Salvadoran and other Latin American faithful, as well as for tourists. For years, Monsignor Romero has been known here in New York as Monsignor Romero of America, (…)” she said.

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Similarly, other parishes that tend to Salvadoran and other Central American communities have special masses scheduled for the occasion.

At the Our Lady of Loretto parish in Hempstead, the celebration will take place in the form of a solemn Mass to be celebrated by Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre John Barres. This will be followed by a gathering at the Monsignor Romero Center for the Formation of Faith where traditional Salvadoran food and music will be offered alongside an audiovisual presentation on the life of Saint Oscar Romero (…)

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