This fifth volume gathers together Romero's homilies during five grimly dramatic months in El Salvador, beginning with the archbishop's mourning for another of his priests who was gunned down by a death squad. Despite the ongoing slaughter of innocent persons and the ruthless treatment of any dissident voice, he continued to speak out courageously in his weekly homilies to the nation and the world.
These homilies reveal Romero above all as a pastor who trusted his people. And the people, intuitively sensing this great trust, responded in kind. Romero often acknowledged that his homilies were collaborative creations, involving not just the Spirit's inspiration and his own reflections, but the thoughts and the feelings of the people as well. He never "spoke down" to the people in the condescending way of many church leaders and countless politicians.
Fully aware that the military rulers and the wealthy families of El Salvador were terrified at the thought of "common people" who could think, Romero in his homilies constantly preached the need for God's people to read the press critically, to develop a keen social awareness, and to judge their harsh reality in the light of the Gospel.
Among the many topics discussed by Romero in this period are the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua and the coup d'etat in his own country, which gave him hope at first but not for long. This volume is an English translation of the 28 homilies Romero delivered between June 21 and November 25, 1979, corresponding to the fifth volume of the original Spanish edition and to Cycle B of the church's liturgy.
Oscar A. Romero studied Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained priest in 1942. He served the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years. He was beatified by Pope Francis on 2015.