We have received many tributes to the Life of Fr. Lorenzo Rosebaugh for the Memorial to Lorenzo Rosebaugh web page. But I feature this one by Pat Rice of Argentina since in its spirit in sums up the purpose of this web site. Bob
Larry Rosebaugh was a 74 year old Oblate priest and peacemaker who dedicated his life to the poor in his native US but also in Brazil and Central America. He had become for many of us a role model through his following of the Good News of Jesus. He was a great man indeed and his tragic death in Guatemala will be very much mourned.
The circumstances of his death are as stupid as any of the daily violent death in our cities at the hands of gun tooting individuals who are prepared to kill for a small sum of money, or at the whim of a moment. His was the “indocile” death that Salvadorian poet Roque Dalton spoke so much against – a death that should not have happened.
Larry´s life was dedicated to the struggle for peace and for life. He had many triumphs but his life was ended by the very forces of violence he fought so much against. And that is what saddens one and makes his death so difficult to accept.
Recently I met someone who was witness to the killing of Father Carlos Mugica on a Buenos Aires street in 1974. Carlos was a priest really committed to the shantytown dwellers but when he saw that the man greeting him had pulled up a machine gun to shoot, he uttered a swear word. It was his gut reaction to insult his assassin for the violence he was using against him.
Like Carlos and Larry we cannot resign ourselves to the tacit acceptance of violence and killing which has become part of our Western culture. From the self sacrificing Marine who becomes a killing machine in the movies and then the governor of California, to the kid who immerses himself in cyber games learning to use all kinds of weapons and shoot countless enemies, killing other human beings has become a fashionable profession. Recently Ireland was scandalized because a young Irishman was riddled to death in Bolivia together with his mercenary boss who was plotting to kill Bolivian president Evo Morales. Michael Dywer from Tippearary had become his bodyguard because the money was good!
Many explanations are provided when socially deprived youths take to violence but there is no doubt that the real benefactors are the big companies, landowners and narco-trafikers who use these foot soldiers of fortune to defend their interests. And violent gangs in urban neighborhoods, breeding drug addiction, make social organizing difficult if not impossible. That does not mean of course that we fill our prisons with youths or implant the death penalty but that we really work for social justice, education, the general public welfare and for the peaceful solution of conflicts. A more just and integrated society and world is the only solution.
Peace was the passion of Larry´s life and the unfinished business he has left us with. He gave us the example of a great life and that should inspire us to continue on his struggle.
Hasta la Victoria ! Larry Rosebaugh presente!
May 27th Buenos Aires, Argentina