The journey if this mission ends at the site where four missionary women were raped and killed in an off the best area in the dark of night. The monument stands where they were buried naked in a shallow grave. A young boy walking on the road noticed the meg shift grave exposing some of the bodies and he alerted authorities.
These women fed the hungry and clothed the naked; they taught the Faith and cared for the sick; they brought hope to desperate people and tried to strengthen their families and communities in the midst of the raging civil war. Their names are Ita, Dorothy, Maura and Jean. In their honor, we celebrated a Liturgy on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
Our God of Love in a community of Persons giving and receiving Love…the Spirit is at the intersection of this giving and receiving, creating an explosion of Love. These women lived and witnessed to this awesome Love. They gave and received, being an empty vessel filled with the Spirit. They were baptized in the Blood of Christ, as was Oscar Romero and every martyr of the Faith.
I am on a beach along the ocean waiting to return to Chicago early in the morning. I return wanting this experience to live in my memory. What is the purpose of going to a poor country only to return with a “business as usual ” attitude, which is easy to fall into. I encounteted inconvenient and uncomfortable truths about economy and the inter-relatedness of the peoples of the world. As I walked through a relatively new mall in San Salvador, I felt like I was in America, with certain stores having Spanish names. Starbucks was quite visible. “What happened to the culture of El Salvador?” , a question I ask, not certain I want to know the answer.
My hope is that each one of us CAN make a small difference by becoming more aware of our country’s influence, which is both positive and negative. We can make changes in our lifestyle and choices, doing our own part. We can pray the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount letting the messages of the word of Christ sink deeper in our hearts. Conversion is a long ,and usually gradual, process of allowing God’s Grace to be the energy that guides our life’s journey. I return filled with much hope.
Offered Mass for Sr. BJ yesterday with the mission group…may she rest in peace. Fr. Frank