An Okarche-born priest who was killed in South America almost three decades ago soon could be recognized as a martyr for the Catholic faith.
The cause for Stanley Rother's beatification hit a major milestone last month when a Vatican cardinal submitted his name to the committee that considers such declarations. Archbishop Paul Coakley wrote in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese newsletter that if the committee approves, Rother's name will be forwarded to a larger Vatican council made up of cardinals and archbishops.
From there, Rother's beatification can be submitted to Pope Francis for final approval.
Rother was a pastor in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese and headed a mission in Guatemala. He initially left the country after receiving threats but returned a few months later. A government-sponsored militia is believed to have raided the mission in July 1981, executing Rother.
Here's a story I wrote in 2010 about Rother's life: "What it means to be a pastor."