Father Rother is a native of Okarche, Oklahoma, a wonderful farming community northwest of Oklahoma City. He arrived in Guatemala in 1968 and connected with his parishioners’ simple, farming lifestyle. “Padre Francisco” was much beloved by the Tz’utujil Indians he served. After nearly a decade, the violence of the Guatemalan civil war founds its way to the peaceful village where he was located. In early 1981, he was on a death list, so returned to Oklahoma and was warned not to return. But, he could not abandon his people and did return. He was martyred at age 46. “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger,” said Father Rother.
I was honored do this commissioned portrait of Father Rother, at the invitation of our friend, Joe Wittrock.
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