The shepherd cannot run.

Fr. Stanley Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City archdiocese served for nearly 15 years in Guatemala.  Fr. Rother was murdered there in 1981 and the Vatican has just declared that he is a martyr who died for his faith and is now one step closer to being recognized as a saint.

The work of Fr. Rother, at Lake Attitlan included the establishment of a small hospital, “Hospitalito” where Mission Doctors have served both long and short term.

When I visited Dr. Brent Burket and Dr. Jennifer Thoene and their family, we attended Mass in the Church that was built there in 1547.  Here hangs an enormous banner of Fr. Rother who came and served the local community with love and compassion. We visited the small bedroom where he stayed and where he was killed, and I was inspired by his life.

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The letters he wrote to his family, when he knew staying surely endangered his life, are found in the inspirational The Shepherd Does Not Run. A life lost in dedication to living for the people he came to serve, truly inspirational.  I am grateful for his witness, and hope more will become familiar with this shepherd, whose love of God and our sisters and brothers counted no cost.

Elise Frederick

 

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