By Fr. Cireneo Matulac
The author, known to many as “Father Dodong”, is a Columban priest from Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay. He had worked in China for quite a number of years. At present, he is part of the formation staff at the Columban House of Studies in Cubao, Quezon City.
In the film Monseñor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero, the Archbishop is seen in the cafeteria of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center of San Salvador having coffee with the people. This was at the height of the military repression in El Salvador and people flocked to him to tell their stories about missing loved ones and those who were killed. One of the women said, “I only had pieces of him to bury, and I cried out, ‘Why did they burn him? Why did they kill him? My son was not an assassin.’” Monseñor Romero listened to their stories and afterwards he instructed the lawyers to document the circumstances of the killings and by doing so, he gave voice to the victims.
In this essay I would like to focus on Romero’s personal witness and his role as shepherd of the church who accompanied his people selflessly and offered his life for them.