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pouring one out for romero


A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth—beware!—is not the true church of Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Oscar Romero, March 11,1979

Today is the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.  I’ll confess that before I went to Catholic School, I had no idea who he was, or why I should care.  A Catholic Archbishop who joined the non-violent resistance movement in El Salvador, Romero was assassinated by the military while serving communion.  Read more about his incredible life and ministry here. In honor of his life, I share below the prayer written in his honor by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw. (

A Future Not Our Own

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

Bishop Ken Utener (for a note on the authorship, click here)



One thought on “pouring one out for romero

  1. Goodness. Many thanks for posting this – but it is most certainly *not* by me. It’s by Oscar Romero himself! My favourite prayer/poem, though. Best wishes, S.

    Posted by Simon Barrow | March 25, 2009, 11:46 pm

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About Me

wife, partner, daughter, and sister. traveler on the journey of faith. rage against the machiner. sometimes pastor.


March 2009
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