Twenty years ago today, in the morning hours, U.S.-trained military personnel of the El Salvadoran government assaulted the Jesuit residence at the University of Central America, in San Salvador, killing eight people – six Jesuit faculty and leadership of the university, the housekeeper, and her 16-year old daughter.
President Mauricio Fuñes announced earlier this month that the priests would receive the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado – the nation’s highest honor – in a national service of atonement today. It was not clear if Celina and Julia Elba would likewise be honored, though I certainly hope so. The U.S. Congress also passed a resolution honoring “these eight spiritual, courageous and generous priests, educators and laywomen” and encouraging commemorations of the anniversary.
We remember today:
Julia Elba Ramos, 42,
cook and housekeeper for the Jesuit seminarians at the university
Celina Mariset, 16,
Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ, 59,
Rector of University of Central America
Ignacio Martin-Maro, SJ, 44,
Vice-Rector and Director of the UCA Public Opinion Institute
Segundo Montes, SJ, 56,
Dean of the department of social sciences
Amando Lopez, SJ, 53,
professor of theology and philosophy
Juan Ramon Moreno, SJ, 56,
professor of theology
Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, SJ, 71,
founder and director of Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy),
which opened thirty educational centers in communities throughout El Salvador
Martyred November 16, 1989
The developed world is not at all the desired utopia,
even as a way to overcome poverty, much less to overcome injustice.
Indeed, it is a sign of what should not be and of what should not be done.
We must turn this sinful history upside down, and out of poverty
we must build a civilization in which all can have life and dignity.
– Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ
(Thanks to Catholic Anarchy for the icon and prayer!)