A Play: Óscar Romero


child, man, woman, Salvadoran soldiers, nun, radio technician (holding a microphone and wearing headphones), journalist, Cardinal Corripio Ahumada (personal delegate of Pope John Paul II)

(The characters stand outside a church door, waiting to be admitted into the funeral services of Óscar Romero.)

Child: Papa, why are all these people gathering at the church?
Man: My child, a great man of God has died, and we are here to honor him. His name was Fr. Óscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador.
Nun: But so many people called him San Romero, which means Saint Romero, because he worked for us, the poor Christian people of El Salvador. He was our voice when we had none.
Child: I don’t understand. How come he spoke for us? What was happening?
Journalist: The politics of El Salvador were changing rapidly and growing violent against people who opposed the government. Many in power wanted the Catholic Church to go along with what was happening, and many in the Church did not like what they saw. Nuns, churches, schools, priests, and hospitals were being attacked, bombed, and threatened. Romero’s good friend, a Jesuit priest, was assassinated, and Romero knew he had to speak up.
Radio technician: For years, the people of El Salvador invited Romero into their homes and trusted him to speak out for the basic human rights of people everywhere, especially the poor. Fr. Romero’s radio sermons told the truth, which was dangerous at the time. He was a beacon of light during a dark time.
(The group parts to let in two young men, dressed as soldiers. The group cowers from them.)
Soldier 1: I’ve come a long way to pay my respects. Romero was the voice of the voiceless, a man who was not afraid to speak out against injustice.
Soldier 2: We have seen what the corrupt government will do to those who oppose it. We stand with Romero, a man who carried the love of God within him and shared that with the world.
(The two soldiers take off their caps and kneel, praying.)
Nun: Even though the government expected Fr. Romero to stand idly by as they continued to harass and mistreat the poor and disenfranchised Christians, Fr. Romero was inspired by God to live a life of holiness and goodness. He surprised them with his strength and bravery. He was a man a God, and of the people. He is our San Romero!
Journalist: Indeed, he has been recognized internationally for his humanitarian efforts. He talked with Pope John Paul II about the persecution the Salvadoran people of the Church were experiencing and urged many powerful figures from around the world to take notice and help stop the violence.
Child: Does God know about the good work Fr. Romero was doing for the people of El Salvador?
Woman: Of course, my child. Fr. Romero lived as a crusader for the poor and disenfranchised, just like Jesus. People from around the world recognize his selflessness, his care for his fellow man, his strength against evil. He will never be forgotten….
Radio technician: Look at this crowd of people! There must be more than 250,000 mourners from all over the world here to pay their respects to such a great man.
Journalist: A social activist.
Man and Woman: A martyr.
Nun: Truly a Servant of God.
(Some bow their heads in prayer, some raise their hands to the sky, some pray the Sign of the Cross. All are solemn.)
Child: Look! The Cardinal from Rome is going to speak!
(The crowd quiets, waiting for the Cardinal’s eulogy.)
Cardinal Corripio Ahumada: I’ve come all the way from Rome, speaking as a delegate of Pope John Paul II. As I visit among you, I can see the love you have for Fr. Romero. You continue to see Romero as your pastor. I see how his death and ministry unite the Church. United to faithful Catholics and non-Catholics, whose laments keep rising to heaven, we remember that no one will be able to silence his last homily. Óscar Romero was a beloved, peacemaking man of God. His blood will give fruit to brotherhood, love, and peace. Amen.
All: Amen.

Related Article: Biography of Óscar Arnulfo Romero