Oscar Romero Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917—1980) was a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth archbishop of San Salvador. Romero was assassinated on 24 March 1980 while serving Mass in a small chapel at a Catholic hospital.

Romero’s assassination came one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and stop carrying out the government's repression and the violation of basic human rights. His assassins were financially supported, from what we know of the history and testimony of that time, by the U.S. government. While aspects of Romero’s liberation theology were condemned by the Vatican his martyrdom was recognized as an act of personal courage in the face of violence against the church. In 1997, a cause for beatification and canonization into sainthood was formally begun for Romero. Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God. The canonization process still continues. The film Romero (1989), which I saw in the theater when it came out over twenty years ago, was based on the Archbishop's life story. I found it a moving story regardless of the political controversy that surrounded Archbishop Romero’s story. I have a personal friend who was actually present when he was shot. His account supports all that I have read over the last several decades.

Now a new movie, “Monseñor,” becomes the first film about Archbishop Oscar Romero that goes beyond the classic genre of a filmed biography, to explore and probe the contemporary significance and legacy of his life and tragic death. This new film on Romero places the Latin American campesinos, or workers, at the center of the story.

The Chicago area presentation of this new film will include an introduction and question/answer session with Father Robert Pelton, CSC. Pelton is the project coordinator and theologian for the film as well as other projects related to Latin American/North American Church Concerns connected with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The film was produced by LANAAC. The screening is sponsored by the Lewis University Multicultural Student Services office and Lewis University’s Committee for Latin American/Latina Academic and Student Events.

If you would like to see this new film it will premier at Lewis University, located in the southwest suburb of Romeoville, Illinois, 6 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the Academic/Science Building Room 158 located on the University’s main campus. Admission to this event is free.

For more information, contact Martha Villegas Miranda from Lewis University Ministry Outreach at (815) 836-5475 orvillegma@lewisu.edu .