Reflecting the Martyrs: HWR Delegation 2012
A reflection on the Honoring Women Religious Delegation from the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston, MA., after their return from El Salvador in December 2012:
On the 32nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan, SHARE and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) led a delegation to El Salvador. The theme was “Honoring Religious Women” who have dedicated their lives to peace and justice in El Salvador and in our world. Sisters Lois Connors and Claire Morrissey as well as CSJ Associates Judy Swett and Mary Rita Weschler were privileged to join in this delegation. From November 29 to December 6, 2012 they journeyed to El Salvador to retrace the route of the martyrs, visit nearby communities, participate in a forum on women’s issues, and hold a special event honoring women religious who continue the work for peace and justice across the world. They met with Salvadoran women religious and theologians working with those at the margins, and reflected together on hopes for our Church and its future. Lois, Claire, Judy, and Mary Rita are eager to reflect on their experience with others and plan to do that over the next few months. Their comments below are the beginning of this sharing.
“It was a humbling experience to come to a church of martyrs and stand on Holy Ground in solidarity with a people of strong committed faith.” -Lois
“I was eager to touch the solid ground of the men and women of El Salvador…I desired to ‘widen my tent’. That has been realized. The colorful environment, the joy and welcoming spirit of all whom I encountered touched me! I have a new mosaic etched in my mind.” -Claire
“The entire program and process was liberating! The women and men I met on the camino shared their testimonies of the organized repression and oppression … having been inspired and challenged I will work and continue to ‘speak truth to power’!” -Judy
“The ‘preferential option for the poor’ has never made so much sense to me, and likely, never will. What a gift to be away, and to return with a fuller heart and a wider perspective. How grateful I am for all of this!” -Mary Rita