Monday, November 16, 2009

Honoring the Jesuits of the UCA

Yesterday Pat and I drove in to San Salvador for a memorial Mass in the crypt of the Cathedral, honoring the six Jesuits and their companions, assassinated twenty years ago on November 16th. It was a beautiful Mass, and the huge crypt - chosen because it is the burial place of Monseñor Romero and a sacred place for Salvadorans - was packed with people. The Jesuit Provincial, Father Jesús Salguero, said the Mass, with the current rector of the UCA, Fr. José María Tojeira, and several priests assisting. Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh talked at the end of the Mass, calling for the rapid canonization of Monseñor Romero, which drew a huge round of applause.

Today the murdered Jesuits were honored by Mauricio Funes, President of El Salvador, who presented them posthumously with the "José Matías Delgado" order of the golden cross - El Salvador's highest honor - which was accepted by their families and their Jesuit colleagues. This honor was an important symbol of the changing times in El Salvador, and perhaps a beginning of a process of truth-telling and reconciliation that has never yet happened publicly.

Photo by Jane Halsey from the rose garden at the UCA marking the place where the Jesuits were assassinated.

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