Honoring the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador
A commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her 15-year-old daughter at the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War will take place at Fairfield University with three events, which are free and open to the University community and the public.
* The Rev. Fernando Cardenal, S.J., liberation theologian and former Minister of Education of Nicaragua, will deliver the keynote speech, “Witness in Blood: What the Martyrs of El Salvador Teach Us,” at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room.
* A panel discussion, “Celebrating Life and Culture in El Salvador,” featuring Fairfield alumni and friends who have lived in El Salvador and a sampling of Salvadoran food, will take place at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Barone Campus Center Room 200. Panelists are: Meg Stapleton Smith, alumna of Casa de La Solidaridad, El Salvador; Michael Allison ’96, PhD, associate professor of political science at the University of Scranton; and Jocelyn Collen ’06, campus minister.
* A prayer service, “Remembering the Jesuit Martyrs and Their Companions,” will begin at 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, at Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
"The 25th anniversary is a fitting moment for us to recall how high the cost can be of cura personalis," said Dr. Paul Lakeland, Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies and the director for the Center for Catholic Studies. "These men and women died for their commitment to the well-being of the ordinary people of El Salvador. The visit of Fr. Fernando Cardenal will be an important opportunity for the Fairfield community to recommit itself to the core values for which they died."
“The visit of Fr. Cardenal is an incredible honor for Fairfield," said Christopher Johnson, director of the Office of International Programs. "Fr. Cardenal was not a mere bystander, but an active participant in the 1970s and 1980s and on the front lines of the struggle for justice in Central America that brutally stole the lives of the six Jesuits and their companions in El Salvador 25 years ago. His personal witness to history and memory provides a unique glimpse into the past and the present of Central America.”
The University will also send a delegation to Washington, D.C., on Friday, Nov. 14, to participate in an Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ), a weekend of workshops, reflection, creative activities, and advocacy organized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. The Fairfield delegates will join over 1,300 social justice advocates affiliated with Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and the larger Catholic Church.
The IFTJ is a nationwide social justice conference sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national lay-led, faith-based, social justice organization that works to mobilize Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and ministries and the larger church throughout the United States in order to effect positive social change on critical issues facing the world. Teach-In attendees represent over 80 Catholic institutions in 25 states, Canada, and Mexico.
The campus events are sponsored by the Office of International Programs, Campus Ministry, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, International Studies, the Office of Mission and Identity, the Fairfield Jesuit Community, the Center for Catholic Studies, JUHAN and the Center for Faith and Public Life.
Artwork by Mary Pimmel