20 years ago today

Today in 1989, Jesuits Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno, Ignacio Martin Baro, Armando López, and Joaquín López y López, were murdered at their home at the University of Central America in El Salvador, along with their housekeeper Elba Ramos and her 15-year old daughter Celina Ramos.

I wasn't able to visit the campus when I was in El Salvador in 2007 - my visit coincided with the Feast of El Salvador del Mundo - the national feast - and the campus was closed.

I was able to visit the site where Jesuit Rutilio Grande and his companions were murdered, as well as where Oscar Romero died for his people.

I often reflect back on my visit to El Salvador. There, in a place which has seen such violence and suffering and inhumanity in my lifetime, I experienced God like never before. This is due, in part I think, to the fact that on this holy and sacred ground, human beings put their lives on the line for other human beings, for the sake of good, strengthened by God, the source of all that is good.

Anniversaries are important, as is the act of remembering. Jesuit Jon Sobrino narrowly escaped being killed that day in 1989, as he was out of the country for a speaking engagement. Needless to say, he was offered many reflections on the Martyrs over the years. I read this quote from him during my trip to El Salvador:

Where, then, is the hope? Precisely in those who remember the witness of the martyrs and take it to heart, bearing the cross they bore and struggling as they did to create a world in which the poor have life and dignity. ...

It [remembering] exhorts us to live more for one another and provokes us to a commitment to truth, peace and justice. It compels us to be more human. It maintains hope in the midst of so much enchantment.

One way you can remember the Jesuit Marytrs is by taking action to Close the School of the Americas. A U.S. Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. Ask your members of Congress to Co-sponsor the "Latin America Military Training Review Act" (HR 2567). You can send a quick email via the IPJC Legislative Action Center.


Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read that post. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that it has been two years since you where there. I remembering reading your words and feeling how that trip touched you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I always read your blog but don't always comment...God Bless you for all the good that you do.