|Fr. Martin Maier, S.J.|
Fr Martin Maier SJ gave the address, which received a rousing clap at the conclusion from the congregation. He said of Romero that, “the heart of Romero’s spirituality and his pastoral action was the Option for the Poor”, adding that “it is also at the heart of Pope Francis’ spirituality”. Fr Maier felt the key insight of Romero was “conversion to the poor, and I think that is what Pope Francis wants too”. A German Jesuit and liberation theologian, he spent many years in El Salvador, and continued serving while persecution was strife. He continues to visit El Salvador, including teaching a theology course and ministering at the weekends at the same parish where he was originally a parish priest.
Amongst the people at the service who knew Archbishop Romero personally was El Salvador’s Ambassador to Britain, Werner Matias Romero. In a word of thanks at the end he reported that, “in an exciting year 2014 for El Salvador, where we went to the polls twice and elected a new president, I am hopeful that Archbishop Romero will continue to be our inspiration”.There had been bidding prayers for El Salvador and for trouble spots of the world, particularly Syria and the Middle East, the Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Also, there were prayers for the work of the Archbishop Romero Trust and the ministry of the Church of St Martin in the Fields in favour of the poor and dispossessed.