From the Pastor's Desk
Fr. Dan White, S.J.
November 16, 2014
Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Martyrs of la Universidad de Centroamericana in El Salvador. The six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter were murdered by government troops during the civil war. They are simply some of the more prominent (another being Archbishop Oscar Romero) victims of a vicious conflict that killed 100,000 people.
The 1970’s and 1980’s were a brutal period in Central America. Civil wars raged in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Our own government was intimately involved by supporting repressive regimes in the name of anti-communism. American troops trained and American dollars equipped dictatorships waging war on their own people.
The civil wars have technically ended, but it is difficult to tell. The lethal combination of bad governance, young men raised in violence, and grinding poverty continues to haunt Central America. The area has the highest murder rate in the world. Drug cartels in conjunction with corrupt local and federal authorities terrorize the people. Unfortunately, our country remains a large part of the problem as well. It is the United States’ insatiable desire for drugs that drives the profits, and therefore the violence.
One could conclude very little has changed in 25 years. Our faith helps us to see differently. The faith, hope and love of the UCA martyrs points to God at work in the midst of great suffering. Justice and peace for all peoples remains the great project of the Church.