In El Salvador in the late Seventies, one man was the voice of the campesinos, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the Disappeared – all struggling under the corrupt Salvadoran government. Appointed Archbishop in early 1977, Monseñor Óscar Romero worked tirelessly and in constant personal peril until the day he was assassinated in March 1980.
Inspired by his friend Monseñor Rutilio Grande, himself murdered for speaking out against the social injustice around him, Romero broke off ties with the military and aligned himself with the poor, delivering messages of hope in weekly sermons which became national events. Encouraging direct action against oppression from his unique position in the Catholic Church, Romero preached a gospel of Heaven on Earth and a powerful version of Liberation Theology that directly impacted political events in El Salvador that still have meaning to this day.
With rare recordings and film footage from Romero’s own collection and a wide range of interviews from those whose lives were changed by Archbishop Romero, including church activists, human rights lawyers, former guerrilla fighters and politicians, Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero is a timely portrait of one individual’s quest to speak truth to the rich and powerful forces which dominated his government.
Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero tells the story of the relationship between a shepherd and his flock. Archbishop Romero lived and died in service to the campesinos. Monseñor beautifully illustrates this feature of his pastoral mission by placing the Latin American campesiños at the heart of the story of Romero’s final days. While the film makes an important contribution to the historical record on the life of Archbishop Romero, it also provides viewers with an insightful re-telling of the intrinsic connection between the beatitudes and the martyr’s sacrifice. -Gustavo Gutierrez, OP
One of the great and tragic moments in the history the Western hemisphere has been the witness and suffering of Latin American Christians as a testimony of Christ's love for all peoples including the poor and oppressed. No more stunning example of this heroic prophetic leadership can be found than Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador. This film is a richly textured account of the journey and witness of this great figure and the people who walked with him and were indelibly transformed by his Christian legacy. We can be grateful to the University of Notre Dame for providing this rich resource to keep the heritage alive. -Brother Jeffrey Gros, FSC