The Education for Ministry classes in the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York invite you to attend a very special program to be held at 7PM on Tuesday, October 13, at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 374 Main St., East Aurora. The program is entitled "Encountering Sainthood: A Personal Reflection" and the presenter will be the Rev. Canon William L. Wipfler, Ph.D., D.D. The program will detail Fr. Wipfler's witness to the martyrdom and beatification of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero.
After his 1976 testimony before a US Congressional Committee on the horrendous human rights violations occurring in El Salvador, Fr. Wipfler was invited by Archbishop Romero to visit him whenever his work with the National Council of Churches took him to El Salvador. They met in 1977, and had frequent encounters thereafter. In March of 1980, Fr. Wipfler was a member of a delegation of US church representatives to express solidarity with the Archbishop in his appeal to President Carter to cease US arms shipments to El Salvador. He participated in the Sunday Mass and was the last person to receive communion from the Archbishop; Oscar Romero was assassinated at Mass the following day, March 24, 1980.
This year, on May 23, Fr. Wipfler was invited to participate in the Mass of Beatification of Oscar Arnulfo Romero. It was an historic and moving event attended by 300,000 people; among them 99 cardinals, archbishops and bishops, 1,420 priests and deacons, hundreds of women and men religious, and sc ores of public officials from Latin America. Fr. Wipfler will share his reflections along with video of the ceremony.
Fr. Wipfler is Priest Associate at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hamburg, NY and also serves the Education for Ministry community as their chaplain.