Óscar Romero

Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (15 August 1917 – 24 March 1980) was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture amid a growing war between leftist rebels and government and right-wing forces. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. Though no one was ever convicted for the crime, investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that the extreme right-wing politician, founder of ARENA and death squad leader Roberto D’Aubuisson had given the order.

Let us not hide the talent that God gave us on the day of our Baptism and let us truly live the beauty and responsibility of being a prophetic people.” –  Archbishop Óscar Romero

The Formation Program

Romero Scholars participate in formation activities designed to nurture their identity as Hispanic/Latin@ lay ministers. The formation program encourages them to integrate their spiritual life, intellectual development, and their growing pastoral skills with their lived experience as Hispanic/Latin@ Catholics. The formation consists of monthly theological reflections or gatherings with other scholars, as well as bi-annual retreats and participation in special events at CTU.

Marco A. López
With over 35 years as a professional lay minister, Marco currently has serve as the Director of the St. Oscar Romero Scholars Program at CTU for the past 10 years. Marco has served as a pastoral staff member in a variety of parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, directed an immigrant center, and served as a formator for college-age seminarians. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Theological Studies from CTU. Marco also has vast experience as a bilingual public speaker, facilitator, trainer, and as an instructor in theology as adjunct faculty in the Spanish-language lay leadership formation program for the Archdiocese of Chicago, as a national speaker for Loyola Press, and is regularly invited by parishes to lead retreats or to speak on topics in such areas as faith formation, liturgy, and social justice. Marco and his wife of over 25 years, Rita, have late teen and young adult children, and live in the Chicagoland area.

Scholarship Opportunities

Generous scholarship funds are offered to support Romero scholars in their studies and formation at CTU. Scholarships up to 100% tuition are available for both full and part time students.

Full-tuition scholarships are available applicants living in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Applicants from the Archdiocese commit to minister in, or on behalf of, the Archdiocese of Chicago for three years following graduation.

Application Criteria

  • Proficiency in English. Most classes are taught in English; however, theological reflection, retreats, and other formation components are offered bilingually.
  • Must be Hispanic/Latin@ and Catholic
  • A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
  • Previous experience in ministry in the Catholic Church among Hispanics/Latin@s
  • Sincere commitment to accomplish his/her studies and to serve the Catholic Church as a lay minister

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Óscar Romero Scholarship Program

Marco A. López
Óscar Romero Scholarship Program