The SHARE Blog

Action Alert: Call on the Commerce Group to Withdraw their Shameful Lawsuit against El Salvador!

January 10, 2011

On January 13 the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank will announce their decision about whether the lawsuit brought by the Commerce Group will proceed to the next phase.

On JANUARY 14, 2011:

Let’s send a clear message to the Commerce Group: Withdraw your shameful lawsuit against El Salvador!

On Wednesday, December 29, 2010, four members (Steve Watrous, Al Gedicks, Babette Grunow and Dan Kasun) of the Midwest Coalition Against Lethal Mining (MCALM) met with John Machulak, an attorney with Machulak, Robertson & Sodos, and brother of Commerce Group’s Chairman and CEO Edward Machulak to ask him to withdraw the $100 million lawsuit against El Salvador. He refused.

As Dan Kasun observed, “It appeared obvious that the comments by John Machulak throughout the meeting either attempted to minimize culpability or prove willfully ignorant of the obvious environmental and health impact of the Commerce Group’s mining operations.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, we promised that if they did not withdraw the lawsuit brought against El Salvador under the foreign investor “protections” of the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) that we would continue our campaign of public education and political pressure. Read More »

Celebrating a successful 2010!

December 31, 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, SHARE is excited to be celebrating another successful year. 2010 has been full of events worth celebrating. In addition to successfully implementing eighteen projects for youth leadership development and scholarships, women’s empowerment, organic agriculture, environmental protection, and advocacy initiatives, SHARE celebrated several major advocacy victories and kept the legacy of social justice alive with two major delegations commemorating Archbishop Romero and the 4 US Churchwomen.

Here are just a few highlights from 2010:

  • SHARE played key role in pressuring the Salvadoran state to apologize to the civilian victims of the civil war and ask for forgiveness for its role in Romero’s assassination for the first time since the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992.

Remembering the Martyred of El Salvador

December 23, 2010

A reflection by delegates, Sisters Julia Keegan and Jean Rupertus, who accompanied SHARE on the delegation honoring the 4 US Churchwomen. 

On November 29, we went to El Salvador with a 50-person delegation from SHARE to honor the 30th anniversary of the martyrdom of Maryknoll Missionaries Maura Clark and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay volunteer Jean Donovan. Our first stop was Divina Providencia where Archbishop Oscar Romero lived and where he was killed while saying Mass. We laid our hands on the altar and united in solidarity with the people of El Salvador. It was fitting to go there first because his conversion and commitment to the poor inspired and strengthened the commitment of these four women. 

On the anniversary of the rape and murder of the four women, we traveled to San Pedro Nonhualco which is where their bodies were found…

Read the rest of the reflection here.

Need a last minute gift idea?

December 20, 2010

SHARE solidarity gifts are a great way to make your donation to SHARE a gift for someone special. Just pick a project, enter the recipient’s contact info and we’ll send a card that tells them you made a gift to SHARE in his or her honor. It’s that simple.  See the projects here:

And you can have the peace of mind, that this holiday season you helped support the struggle for economic and social justice in El Salvador.

Purchase your gift before 12/23 to ensure that we can email the card before Christmas. Let us know if you have any questions!

Why the Four US Churchwomen are Important Today

December 15, 2010

On December 5th, St John Francis Regis, a long-time SHARE sister in Kansas City, MO, hosted a prayer service in commemoration of the four US churchwomen killed in El Salvador 30 years ago.  Over 200 people attended a service that included processions, prayers and a powerful reflection by Sr. Mary McGlone. You can read the story about the event on a local newspaper’s website.

Father Tom Holder reflects on the date:I believe there are several reasons why the commemoration is still important today. There is still work to be done and we need to remember the commitment and courage of the four churchwomen to give us strength to do the hard work of justice. We need to make sure the younger generation has a sense of the real history of the region and the ability our country has to influence things, both in good and bad ways. In the Kansas City area, there are growing numbers of Salvadoran immigrants. They are here because they still suffer hardship and persecution. We need to hear the stories so that we can continue to be in solidarity with the people of El Salvador. The four churchwomen teach us the importance of putting a face on the issues. They inspire us by their example and call us to see the people of El Salvador as our brothers and sisters.

Churchwomen Delegation Photo Album is up!

December 9, 2010

The SHARE delegation in front of the church built on the site where the bodies of the 4 Churchwomen were found

Check out our Flickr Album from the delegation here: Have some fantastic photos from the delegation that you want to SHARE. Let us know. Or if you want more updates from SHARE join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter @SHAREelsalvador.

Quotes from the final weekend of the Churchwomen Delegation

December 6, 2010

With the delegation coming to a close, delegates shared many interesting and profound responses to the experience with SHARE. We’ve compiled a few quotes here to provide food for thought to those of you who weren’t able to join us in El Salvador for this memorable occasion. 

Delegates at Archbishop Romero's tomb

The delegation spent the first part of Saturday in San Salvador’s main Cathedral and in the crypt below, which is the final resting place of Archbishop Romero.  After this experience one delegate commented:

“The contrast between the ornateness of the main cathedral and the simplicity with which Romero lived his life was startling and very disturbing.  It makes you question the role of the Catholic Church in the social issue of our times.” -Belinda Monahan, OSB Read More »

A Delegate Reflection

December 5, 2010

A reflection from Patricia Crowley, OSB:

I keep tripping across Dostoyevsky’s quote about our being saved by beauty (if by nothing else). In the midst of present stories of violence, pain, struggle, loss and with memories of fear and anger and suspicion frm my time here in 1990, I feel overwhelmed by peace and hope and the beauty of Salvadoran faces. Life is hard here. Poverty is deep. Yesterday we visited the community of Llano Grande in Tecoluca– a group of 45 families who have claimed a piece of land here and built a home (of cardboard and branches and old tin) with a small garden and washlines and love.

To learn more about how you can visit El Salvador on a SHARE delegation visit our website or email us at For more updates from SHARE follow us on Twitter @SHAREelsalvador or join our group on Facebook.

Delegate Reflection: Mercy Touches Wounds of El Salvadoran People

December 4, 2010

This account was written after the first day of the delegation for the Sisters of Mercy blog by Jean Stokan, a SHARE Board Member and representative of the Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy.


Mercy Touches Wounds of El Salvadoran People

Written by Jean Stokan, Institute Justice Team
December 02, 2010
Nine members of our Mercy family are traveling to El Salvador Nov. 29-Dec. 6 as part of a 50-person delegation commemorating the 30th anniversary of the martyrdom of four U.S. churchwomen who were working with those who are poor and oppressed in that Central American country.  The following is their first blog post from El Salvador:
We started our first full day in El Salvador going to the chapel where Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated. On a wall leading up to the chapel is a powerful mural of Romero surrounded by his beloved people.
Some are depicted as under weights of oppression, others are smiling. Romero in holding a child with one hand and the other hand is raised, with a striking blood-red stigmata in the center. His feet as well are imaged with the stigmata.
Read the rest of the account on the Sisters of Mercy blog.

First Hand Account of Churchwomen Commemoration Events in El Salvador

December 3, 2010

Written on December 2, 2010 by Chantal de Alcuaz, this is a firsthand account of the activities SHARE delegates participated in on the 30th Anniversary of the deaths of the 4 US Churchwomen in El Salvador.

The Congregation for Mass

Today, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the four North American Churchwomen, we began by journeying to the place where the bodies of Ita, Maura, Jean and Dorothy were found.  A church and memorial have since been constructed on the site.  As the SHARE delegation neared the site, our three vehicles entered into prayerful silence to consider the life and legacy of the women we came to celebrate. We gathered, overflowing from the church, with an international community, Maryknoll sisters, fathers, and lay missionaries, Ursuline Sisters, high school delegations from the US, and even family members of Maura Clark, and many more, to pray and celebrate the Eucharist. Read More »

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