Helping the immigrant and refugee community achieve self-sufficiency for more than 30 years.
For over 30 years, Centro Romero has been a community-based organization that serves the refugee immigrant population on the northeast side of Chicago. Our interrelated programs include the Youth Learning and Leadership Program, Family Services (encapsulating the Domestic Violence Prevention Program, the Public Benefits Program, and the New Americans Initiative), Adult Education, and Legal Services. These are essential services that support healthy personal and social development of participants. Our long-term organizational goal is to bridge a disenfranchised community of immigrants and refugees into mainstream American society as well as improving their opportunity for upward social mobility. Long-term sustainable growth of our target population will only be achieved through education, leadership development, advocacy, and service; we accordingly focus our energy on these related initiatives.
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, born August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios San Miguel became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. Monsignor Romero spent over two decades serving as a parish priest and diocesan secretary in the city of his birth. He rose within the churches’ hierarchy to become the bishop of Santiago de Maria, a poor rural area in El Salvador, where he observed first-hand the suffering of El Salvador’s poor and experienced the increasing government sanctioned violence against socially active priests and laypersons. In 1968 the region’s bishops decided to abandon the churches traditional role of supporting the status quo. Instead they sided with the poor of Latin America in their struggle for social justice. Though this path conflicted with the hierarchy of the church, Monsignor Romero emerged as an outspoken critic of injustice and a defender of the poor.
Using the moral authority of his position as Archbishop, Mon. Romero began broadcasting his sermons over the archdiocesan radio station. He quickly gathered a growing following and people began to gather around radios to hear his message of justice and humanity. He was not afraid to denounce the violence of El Salvador’s civil war and the accepted patterns of abuse and injustice, which it fed on. He was committed to speak for those who could not speak for themselves and soon became known as the “Voice of the Voiceless.”
Monsignor Romero’s campaign for human rights became a movement recognized internationally and in 1979 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Though he knew that his actions would place his life in danger he continued the good fight because it was the right thing to do. “As a Christian,” he once said, “I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.”
On March 24, 1980, Monsignor Romero was assassinated while serving mass. He is one of the 20th century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London. In 1997 Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God leading to May 23rd, 2015’s beatification ceremony in San Salvador lead by a reading from Pope Francis assuring that Romero would now be one step away from sainthood.
For other types of donations please contact us at (773) 508-5300.