Father Stanley Rother, born March 27, 1935, grew up in Okarche, Oklahoma and was ordained a priest in 1963. Five years later, he received the call to serve the Oklahoma mission in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.
Through the years, Father Rother learned the local Tzutuhil dialect, served the people with devotion, and was deeply loved by the parishioners. Political unrest swept the country in the 1970’s, and in 1980 four priests were killed in Guatemala.
In his Christmas letter of 1980, Father Rother wrote: “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” Nevertheless, as conditions worsened, he came back to Oklahoma. After a short time, despite the danger, he returned to the mission because of his love for the people.
On the night of July 28, 1981, three men entered the rectory and shot Father Rother. Father Rother’s heart is buried in the church in Guatemala and his body was buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Okarche. Father Rother is now entombed here, in the Resurrection Memorial Chapel.
The official Cause of Beatification of Father Rother was begun on October 2007. We now pray that the church will declare him a saint.
Blessed Stanley Rother was Beautified on Sept. 23rd, 2017 in Oklahoma City.
The Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine is currently under construction in South Oklahoma City. Standing as a beacon of faith and a visible sign of the Church’s presence in Oklahoma, the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine will be a resource for the entire archdiocese. The shrine will welcome pilgrims from throughout Oklahoma, the United States and beyond.