Movie screening highlights heroic witness of newly canonized saint


On Saturday, Oct. 13, residents of St. Junipero Serra Hall watched a movie screening of “Romero,” the story of St. Oscar Romero, which was followed by a discussion in anticipation of his canonization the following day.

Armed with several boxes of pizza and a tub of sherbet, the men settled down to watch the movie, which covered Romero’s appointment as archbishop of the archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador in 1977 through his assassination three years later.

St. Oscar Romero was archbishop during El Salvador’s Civil War, and he helped to navigate others through this rough time and help keep their eyes on God, according to the docudrama.

As highlighted in the movie, Romero was known for his inspirational homilies and speeches. His demeanor calmed the masses and brought hope to the suffering people of El Salvador. On March 24, 1980, Romero was shot while consecrating the Eucharist during Mass. His death sparked national outrage and brought the issues of El Salvador to light.

Almost 40 years later, Romero was canonized this past Sunday by Pope Francis, along with six other holy men and women.

After the movie, the men, led by Resident Assistant Elisha Valladares-Cormier, discussed the issues that many people faced during that time and the theology behind Romero’s preaching. Valladares-Cormier, who was born in San Salvador and whose father lived through its civil war, recounted first-hand stories of how fearful the time was.

The Rev. Gregory Plow, TOR, contributed to the discussion, saying, “I’m just really excited for the Church and all the people of El Salvador for this heroic witness (of) standing up for the difficult truth that the Catholic Church teaches and for laying down his life for that truth.”

Valladares-Cormier was especially excited for the canonization of a Salvadoran saint. “As a Salvadoran, it is very exciting that he’s going to be canonized. He’s our country’s first saint; my father grew up listening to (him),” said Valladares-Cormier.

Valladares-Cormier is thinking of having more movie nights in St. Junipero Serra Hall featuring the lives of saints in the future.

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