Remembering Oscar Romero in Books

As we have seen, Oscar Romero is remembered in music, film and art.[i] Now it is the turn for books.

There are many books about Oscar Romero. Here are comments about those in my personal library, most of which have been cited in my posts about Romero.

The leading biography is by Father James R. Brockman, S.J., The Word Remains: A Life of Oscar Romero (Orbis; Maryknoll, NY 1982). Brockman interviewed friends and associates of the Archbishop and examined Romero’s files and archives. Another biography is Placido Erdozain, Archbishop Romero: Martyr of El Salvador (Orbis; Maryknoll, NY 1981) (John McFadden & Ruth Warner, Translators).

Four books have the words of Romero himself (in English translation).

His diary was begun on March 31, 1978, after he had been Archbishop for just over a year, and the last entry was March 20, 1980, just four days before he was assassinated. For these two years he records many of the events, meetings and conversations of his busy life. His conflicts with the Vatican, his fellow Salvadoran bishops and with the U.S. government are mentioned as are some of the death threats that he received. Although he discusses some of his own thoughts, it is not a diary of the soul or a private record of his spiritual life. (Archbishop Oscar Romero, A Shepherd’s Diary (St. Anthony Messenger Press; Cincinnati, OH 1993)(Irene B. Hodgson, Translator).)

Three books contain extracts from Romero’s homilies, pastoral letters, interviews, statements and articles. They are essential in obtaining clear insight into his Christian and theological beliefs and his statements on human rights. (Oscar Romero, The Church Is All of You: Thoughts of Archbishop Oscar Romero (Winton Press; Minneapolis, MN 1984) (James R. Brockman, S.J., Translator & Compiler); Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love: The Pastoral Wisdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero(Harper & Row; San Francisco, CA 1988) (James R. Brockman, S.J., Translator & Compiler); Oscar Romero, Voice of the Voiceless: The Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements (Orbis; Maryknoll, NY 1985) (Michael J. Walsh, Translator).)

Three other books offer others’ memories and reflections on Romero. (Jon Sobrino, Archbishop Romero: Memories and Reflections (Orbis; Maryknoll, NY 1990)(Robert R. Barr, Translator); Marie Dennis, Renny Golden & Scott Wright, Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings (Orbis; Maryknoll, NY 2000); Maria Lopez Vigil, Oscar Romero: Memories in Mosaic (EPICA; Washington, D.C. 2000)(Kathy Ogle, Translator)(fascinating collection of memories of Romero from hundreds of Salvadorans chronologically organized as multiple images of the Archbishop).)

Romero’s inclusion in Westminster Abbey’s gallery of Christian martyrs of the 20th century is set forth in Andrew Chandler, Christian       Martyrs of the Twentieth Century(Westminster Abbey; London 1999); Andrew Chandler (ed.), The Terrible Alternative–Christian Martyrdom in the Twentieth Century (Cassell; London 1998).

Wonderful photographs of Romero as a young boy, seminarian, priest and Archbishop along with the shocking ones of him just after he had been killed and of his funeral are found in Romero (Equipo Maiz, El Salvador 2000).

Music about Romero appears on two CD-ROMs: Romero (Equipo Maiz 2000); Homenaje a Monsenor Romero–30 Aniversario– Marzo 1980-2010 (El Salvador Government 2010).


[i] Post: Remembering Oscar Romero in Music (Oct.14, 2011); Post: Remembering Oscar Romero in Film (Oct. 15, 2011); Post: Remembering Oscar Romero in Art (Oct. 16, 2001).

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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