Reflections of El Salvador
Written by Sister Theresa Saetta, RSM of her time in El Salvador during the Honoring Women Religious Delegation.
While the scenes of assassination have been transformed into memorials, chapels, and a rose garden in El Salvador, the memories of the people who knew, loved, evangelized with, and were saved by the men and women martyrs remains startlingly fresh and immediate. Each day of our pilgrimage brought us ever closer to the women martyrs, Ita, Maura, Dorothy and Jean, as well as Oscar Romero, the Jesuits of the University of Central America, and their housekeeper and her daughter, Elba and Celina.
Nothing, except a personal lived experience of those days of repression in El Salvador, could have prepared one for the events described so vividly and painfully by the eye witnesses or first responders who met with us there. In the very chapel where Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered, during a prayer of reflection on his life, each one of us stood and spoke a word describing Romero. Words like: Courageous, Martyr, Bishop of the Marginalized, Conversion, Evangelizer, committed to the Poor, began pouring forth like a waterfall, a litany of a life lived on the edge, on purpose, just like Jesus.