A Saint Among Us
Cause of Canonization for Father Stanley Francis Rother Will Officially Begin Oct. 5 With Mass and Commissioning of Committee at Holy Trinity Church in Okarche
By Ray Dyer
Editor of the Sooner Catholic
OKARCHE - Inside Okarche’s Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the same church where two days after his birth on March 27, 1935, Stanley Rother was baptized, Oklahoma Catholics will come together Oct. 5 incele- bration of the Holy Eucharist and to again pray for the Canonization of their beloved priest.On this night they will witness the formal beginning of the journey to sainthood as the Canonization Committee for the Cause of Sainthood for Revered Stanley Francis Rother is commissioned. Archbishop Beltran will commission the Canonization Committee. Deacon Norman Mejstrik, a parishioner at Saint Philip Neri Church in Midwest City, has been named to serve as coordinator for the committee. Carol Davito has been named to serve as assistant coordinator.
By Sister Martha Mary McGaw, CSJ
(Page 20, August 16, 1981)
Father Rother was born on March 27, 1935, the son of Franz and Gertrude Rother. He was reared on a farm near Okarche as a member of Holy Trinity Parish. He attended Holy Trinity School.
When he told his dad after high school that he wanted to be a priest his dad said, "Why didn't you take Latin instead of working so hard as a Future Farmer of America?" But he and Gertrude were glad that Stanley wanted to be a priest, and their daughter, too, now Sister Marita, wanted to become a Sister, though she and Stanley had not discussed their vocations with each other. "Religion was so much a part of our home and our lives that we didn't need to talk about it," Sister Marita said. God was central to our lives."
By Martha Mary McGaw, CSJ
(Page 3, August 16, 1981)
The Beautiful American is what Archbishop Charles Salatka called Father Stanley Rother who was martyred in Guatemala on July 28, 1981.
“He went forth from his own country to share the love of Christ,” the archbishop, who was principal celebrant and homilist, said at the Mass of Christian Burial on Aug. 3.
Father Rother, was buried in the red vestments of a martyr, wearing a stole made especially for him by his beloved Tzutuhil Indians. In Oklahoma City, Father Rothers’ funeral was held at Our Lady’s Cathedral with a standing room only congregation. He was buried in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Okarche, in the family plot.
(Page 1, August 2, 1981)
Father Stanley Rother, 46, Oklahoma missionary to Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, was shot to death in his rectory early Tuesday morning, July 28, 1981. The report of Father Rother's death was received in a telephone message from the chancery office of the Diocese of Solola. The parish of Santiago Atitlan is locted in the Solola Diocese.
Father Aguirre, vicar general of Solola, told Father John Steichen, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, that nuns from Santiago Atitlan arrived in Solola with the news the morning of July 28.
Should Blessed Stanley Rother have gone back to the mission in Guatemala knowing that his life was probably in danger? This question has been asked many times since his murder on July 28, 1981. His answer was simply, straightforward, and true: “My people need me.”
This question and answer lead to a consideration of the meaning of vocation, that is, a call from God to do something in his life in a very particular way. God never creates anyone without a very wonderful purpose.Father Rother’s vocation was to be a priest, someone for others. He understood that clearly.