The steadfast shepherd of Santiago Atitlán

 

-1The path to sainthood consists of many steps. One of those steps to make sure that the person’s life story and cause is well known. Up until now, you may have never heard of Father Stanley Rother, but based on the wonderful new book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run, Father Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma, I hope and pray that will change!

My own involvement with this project began some time ago. Catholic journalist and author María Ruiz Scaperlanda told me that she was writing a book about Father Rother. This caught my attention because a priest that I know went to seminary with Fr. Rother, so I was familiar with him. One thing led to another and this provided me with the opportunity for me to connect Maria to Father Tom Connery to further her research.

So who was Stanley Rother? This book will sweep you away as Continue reading

Padre A’plas

stanley-rother-picFr. Stanley Rother was born and raised in a German-American community in Okarche, Oklahoma, but ended up as a missionary priest in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Speaking almost no Spanish, and absolutely no Tz’utujil, the language of the local people, Fr. Stan arrived and immersed himself in his new community. This immersion transformed both him and those he served with love. Padre A’plas, meaning Padre Francis, as he became known, worked together under many difficult circumstances in the pursuit of justice and dignity.

516nNayXAiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_On this day in 1981, he was martyred – shot in his own residence. While I had heard of Fr. Rother before (I know a priest who was in seminary with him),  I was not very familiar with his life and witness. Recently I had the privilege of reading an unpublished galley of biography of Fr. Rother. That book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, will be Continue reading