- Sep 20, 2020
In Guatemala, a determined Belgian missionary named Jean-Marie Boxus, so dedicated to serving his people that he spent years as a volunteer fire-fighter, joined forces with a non-profit organization called World Neighbors, which believes in “getting to the little guy in the rice paddy,” to promote development and self-reliance among small farmers.
After a relic from the recently beatified Stanley Rother was presented to his home parish, Father John Peter Swaminathan, Holy Trinity’s pastor, said, “A small town in Oklahoma has now become a prominent place on the U.S. map,” anticipating thousands of visitors.
Pope Francis advanced the causes for sainthood for nine people on Tuesday October 10 at the Vatican. Two of those, a priest and a layman, were Franciscans who were martyred in Guatemala. They were killed shortly after Blessed Stanley Rother was martyred there. Rother was recently beatified in Oklahoma.
A small mission of 80 parishioners, members of roughly 20 families who are immigrants namely from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico and who work in the local chicken-processing plant or in construction in Arkansas, have become the first to name themselves for Blessed Stanley Rother.
Blessed Stanley Rother was also known for not wanting to abandon his people, even though he knew his life was at risk. After Rother died, his friend Father John Goggin said he still did not want the people to feel abandoned. That’s why he was grateful when the opportunity came to work with Unbound, a non-profit founded by lay Catholics who had also spent time serving as missionaries in Latin America.
More than 17,000 people packed the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City for the beatification of Father Stanley Francis Rother, murdered in 1981 as he served the faithful at a mission in Guatemala sponsored by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.