In 2016, Pope Francis named Father Rother a martyr of the faith, the first martyr from the United States, and in 2017 he became the first beatified U.S.-born priest.
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Archbishop Paul Coakley noted that the dedication of the new shrine — named for the Catholic priest who served the poor as a missionary in Guatemala and was martyred there — serves as a reminder to Christians of the dignity they have as baptized people.
Father Rother was assassinated on July 28, 1981.
Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg used Father Rother’s chalice to celebrate his first Mass as a priest on July 16, 1989.
“If I get a direct threat or am told to leave, I will go. But if it is my destiny that I should give my life here then so be it…”