Sunday, October 16, 2011
Dean Brackley, October 16, 2011
I learned today via an e-mail from Gene Palumbo that Dean Brackley, S.J. - priest, writer, tireless worker for justice, and great friend of the people of El Salvador - died in Santa Tecla today.
Dean has been a great friend to our El Salvador Health Mission as he has been to every peace and justice-based program that connects people from the U.S. with the people of El Salvador. This photo is from Eleanor Gilmore's farewell party in 2009: Eleanor is on Dean's right and Guadalupe Montalvo Palumbo on his left.
I last saw Dean after our eye surgery mission in May of this year; Kathy Garcia and I talked with him while our group was touring the Romero Center at the UCA (University of Central America). He'd been talking to a delegation - one of the hundreds he met with - and came out to talk about getting some medications for the people he worked with in Jayaque. He was thin and worn looking, and told us that he'd had a colonoscopy that morning and was tired. Soon after that, we learned that he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had metastasized.
As you know, Dean came to El Salvador to help replace the six Jesuits murdered in 1989. Today, his life as a Jesuit ended in the place where their lives as Jesuits began: the Santa Tecla residence, where they did their two-year novitiate.
and he quotes an e-mail from Dean's brother Jesuit, Rafael de Sivatte:
I write to give you the painful and joyful news that God, Father and Mother, has taken to his side our brother, friend, father, and companion in solidarity, Dean. I can tell you that he died so peacefully that those of us who were with him at that moment felt filled with peace ourselves. I send you a fraternal embrace, united with you in prayer and in the commitment to the Kingdom for which he worked and continues to work.