24th Anniversary Commemorating the UCA Martyrs
Saturday, November 16th marked the 24th anniversary of the massacre of the six Jesuit priests: Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín Baró, Segundo Montes, Joaquín López y López, Amando López, Juan Ramón Moreno, their housekeeper, Elba and her daughter, Celina Ramos at the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador. SHARE delegates from St. Patrick’s Church in Seattle joined thousands of others in the annual activities commemorating the martyrs. This year’s theme, “No hay justicia sin solidaridad compartida”, or, “There is no justice without shared solidarity,” truly conveys SHARE’s mission as well as the underlying goal of the sistering relationship St. Patrick’s has maintained for over twenty years with El Salvador, specifically Nueva Trinidad in Chalatenango.
Thousands of Salvadorans were accompanied by pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. This strong international presence represented a fellowship and common understanding of the attendees: El Salvador may very well be a tiny nation, but the significance of the UCA Massacre continues to be recognized on a global scale. People from around the world, like the St. Patrick´s delegation, come together in solidarity and love for the Salvadoran people. Although this day is marked with deep sadness and lingering anger at what transpired that day twenty four years ago, we celebrate the dedication and commitment to justice of these martyrs with joy and hope. Their memory inspires others who possess the courage to facilitate change and strive relentlessly for a better reality for the Salvadoran people.
St. Patrick’s of Seattle, WA demonstrates the importance of solidarity through painful times. The parish of St. Patrick’s has been accompanying the Salvadoran people ever since the Sanctuary Movement began in the 1980s, which helped Central American refugees find a safe-haven as they fled atrocious civil wars. St. Pat’s sustains their relationship of mutual accompaniment by sending delegations to visit their sister community Nueva Trinidad. While providing spiritual, physical, and economic support to their Salvadoran brothers and sisters, the parish has continued to speak out against injustice in El Salvador and raise awareness in their region to encourage others to do the same. These important types of relationships that have historically been facilitated by
SHARE and other organizations help to strengthen the solidarity between the United States and El Salvador and deepen the significance of commemorating important events in history such as this one.