Guest lineups for the Sunday news showsHow to make your own face mask to help stop the spread of the coronavirusLive updates - Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,159; 42 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Five things to know about the Rev. Stanley Rother

Related coverage


Students express excitement about 'witnessing history'
Guatemalans travel to Oklahoma to honor 1st US martyr
Inspirational example: Catholic priests and bishops connected with Oklahoma say Rother is a great role model
5 things to know about beatification ceremony for the Rev. Stanley Rother
'The blood of martyrs': Guatemalan bishop discusses priest's legacy
'This was the plan of God'
Catholic archbishop share's priest's story with OKC Rotary Club
'This was the plan of God'
Products aim to help faithful remember priest and his legacy
Catholic archbishop share's priest's story with OKC Rotary Club
'He had to go back': Oklahoma City priest recalls friendship with Stanley Rother
Road to Sainthood: From farm boy to Father Rother
Road to sainthood: Golf course property will be site of Rother shrine
Rother's life serves as example of confident trust

The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]
The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]
The late Rev. Stanley Rother is the first U.S.-born male and U.S. priest named a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church. His beatification, at a ceremony planned for Saturday, Sept. 23 in downtown Oklahoma City, will place him one step closer to canonization.

Here are five things you should know about him:

1. Small town boy. He was born to a devout German Catholic family of farmers in the small town of Okarche.

2. Surprising decision. He surprised his family with his decision to become a priest instead of following in the footsteps of his father and becoming a farmer.

3. Seminary struggles. He struggled with Latin at his first seminary and was asked  to leave. Then-Oklahoma Bishop Victor Reed obtained a private tutor to tutor him in Latin and sent him to another seminary. Language would not trouble him for long. He mastered the native dialect of the Tzutujil language of his parishioners in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, so much so that he helped translate the New Testament into Tzutujil.    

4. Serving in Guatemala. Five years after his ordination to the priesthood, he volunteered to serve as part of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City's Guatemalan mission team, eventually becoming parish priest at Santiago Atitlan, Guatemalan. He served there for 13 years, helping to open a hospital, helping to teach the parishioners farming techniques and working to establish a school to combat illiteracy.

5. Heart condition. He was killed by unknown assailants on July 28, 1981, in his rectory at Santiago Atitlan. The people of his beloved parish wished to have him buried in Guatemala. A compromise was reached between his parishioners and his family so that his body was brought back to Oklahoma for burial -- but his heart was buried in Guatemala.  

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor 

Related Photos
The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]

The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1a175a0db270826641c7690c3e761f6a.jpg" alt="Photo - The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]" title="The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]"><figcaption>The Rev. Stanley Rother [Photo provided]</figcaption></figure>
Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

Comments