15th Anniversary of Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador, Protest of School of the Americas, to highlight Jesuit Identity Week at Fairfield University


Fairfield University will have a week of reflection, discussion and prayer during Jesuit Identity Week, November 14-20. The major events, open to the public, pay special attention to the 15th anniversary of the Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador, a protest of the School of the Americas, and a discussion of the death penalty led by Rev. Walter Everett, whose son was shot and killed in 1987.

The week opens Sunday evening, Nov. 14, with Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, university president, saying a 9 p.m. Mass in memory of the six Jesuits and their housekeeper and her daughter who were murdered on Nov. 16, 1989. The Jesuits, who had worked on behalf of the poor of El Salvador, were attacked by armed men, later identified by the Salvadoran government as members of the U.S.-trained elite Atlacatl Batallion.

On Monday, at 6:30 p.m., a short film, "Question of Conscience: The Murder of Jesuit Priests in El Salvador," will be shown in the Community Room in Campus Ministry, located below the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. A discussion, led by Rev. Paul E. Carrier, S.J., University chaplain, will follow.

Following the El Salvador film on Monday, Rev. Walter Everett, pastor of United Methodist Church of Hartford whose son Scott was shot and killed in Bridgeport, Conn., in 1987, will lead a discussion of the death penalty from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the McGrath Room of Campus Ministry. For a year, Rev. Everett lived with anger that was destroying his ability to function in his work and in his relationships with other people. His decision not to allow Scott's death to lead to his own spiritual and emotional death led him through the long hard struggle to forgiveness and into the life-long process of healing.

Before joining the Hartford congregation in 1993, Rev. Everett served churches in Easton, Conn., New York and New Jersey. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, CT Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, and Community Partners in Action, a Hartford-based organization that focuses on restorative justice principles, including alternatives to incarceration.

On Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., Father Carrier will lead a short prayer service as 16 members of the Fairfield University community, including 13 students and a Campus Minister and two faculty members, depart to take part in the School of the Americas protest in Benning, Ga. On Friday and Saturday there will be Ignatian Family Teach-Ins. Last year all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States were represented. The protest march takes place on Sunday.

Eucharistic Adoration will take place in the Fairfield University chapel from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 12 p.m. Thursday. Other events during the week, geared to students, include a scriptural rosary, an Ignatian reflection, community dinner and other gatherings. Humor has also been injected into week with table tents in the campus dining hall that, along with information about Jesuits include Jesuit jokes. "Did you hear the one about the Jesuit who made it to the Pearly Gates?"

Fr. Carrier, S.J., sees the week as an opportunity for the University community to celebrate the richness of Jesuit history and heritage, and for students especially to understand the depth of the challenge offered them as inheritors of the Jesuit vision to be "men and women for and with others."

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 5, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 100