From Darkness to Light in El Salvador
By Sister Moira K.
The theme kept reinserting itself into our activities and into my reflections.
The visit to Divina Providencia chapel, where Archbishop Romero was killed, was awesome, especially standing at the very altar where he was saying Mass. We wondered what he thought as his assassin entered the chapel, in his direct line of sight. One could have given into the darkness of death, yet words on the chapel wall declared Romero had offered his life to God for his people.
A mural on an outside wall made real Romero’s words of “rising again in the Salvadoran people.” The mural shows an assassinated Romero, surrounded by Salvadoran people, all with stigmata and most with arms raised in Alleluia. For me, the picture depicts his rising again in the people — rising again in a people still suffering but empowered and given new life by him and by his suffering. Their resurrection was the same as Jesus,’ with wounds always present.
The real reason I joined this delegation, however, was to honor the lives of the four churchwomen.
This is why I protest at the School of the Americas and carry their pictures to the fence.
December 2nd here began in a somber way, keeping silence on our bus as we drove the last miles of their lives, imagining their terror, en route to a Mass at the site where the assassins buried them. But the somber mood soon gave way to a sense of celebration.
I had no idea what to expect, but upon arrival we saw several hundred people gathered. There were students from the U.S.; but what moved me most were all the Salvadorans. There were older folk who may have known the four women, and younger folk who have only heard the story. What a tribute to these women. Because of the younger people, their legacy will live on.
The Mass continued to move us from darkness and death to light and hope, with music which beckoned all to a joyful dance to honor the legacy of four women who will live on in the hearts of the Salvadoran people.
Other blog posts about the experience in El Salvador:
- Mercy Touches the Wounds of the El Salvadoran People
- Asking for Courage to See the Suffering of the Poor
- Honoring the Martyrs of El Salvador
- Seeing How My Choices Affect Others in the World
- Touching Hope in El Salvador
More photos of the El Salvador delegation can be found on our Facebook Page.