Posts Tagged ‘Delegation’

Delegate Spotlight: Mary Louise

April 1, 2016

Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming International Solidarity Delegation in July!

Mary Louise Chesley-Cora

Spotlight On: Mary Louise Chesley-Cora, Hockessin, DE

SHARE Delegation Experience: 2015 Churchwomen Commemoration Delegation

Why did I decide to participate? There was a strong spiritual “pull” to look at this possibility and then to take steps needed to participate. Initially, I knew no one in the delegation and went by myself.

What did I gain? I gained a much greater understanding of what happened in El Salvador in the past 50 years and the unfortunate role the US government played in the civil war there causing the deaths of thousands of the people as well as a greater appreciation of what is presently happening to build up hope and justice for the people, especially those who continue to suffer injustice and threats of terror from gangs and organized crime (mostly women and children).  I was inspired by the strength of the women who seem fearless and determined to make their country a beautiful and safe place to live.

What was most memorable? The most memorable day was being with the people at the Mass on December 2 to celebrate the lives of these courageous and faith-filled women who were martyred at that spot 35 years before. It was also the exact day a year ago that I was celebrating the life of my dear husband, George, (12/2/14) at our parish of the Resurrection in Delaware. I envisioned them all “in glory”…rejoicing with us!

What was my favorite part? I was very touched by the great hospitality shown to our delegation as well as the gratitude of the people toward us to have come to “walk with,  pray with and celebrate with” on their journey for greater justice and peace. Despite the tremendous losses and hardships, they showed great resilience, compassion and hope for their lives and those of their children. I also valued meeting all the delegates and sharing with them. I found “connections” I couldn’t believe with various ones. It was a wonderful group of “new friends” journeying together.  Our team was also “outstanding”!!!

How was I challenged? I was challenged to be open to all kinds of new experiences, people, travel, language. I welcomed this opportunity to grow in faith, to support those who continue to work for justice and peace and to join them in prayer for a  more hope-filled future.

For those thinking of joining a SHARE delegation: The SHARE opportunity was so well planned and organized. It included important meetings with representatives of the government, media and local people, meaningful prayer experiences, enjoyable times for meals and conversation as a group and with the local people. It was a wonderful, worthwhile experience and it made such a difference for the people there and for each of us in the delegation.

How does it continue to inspire?: It is only 2 months since the trip and I am still “unpacking” the experience and discerning how this can inspire and inform others to reach out in  mercy, justice and reconciliation to these sisters and brothers in El Salvador. I would like to continue to be involved in some way but it is not yet clear what that will mean. I am filled with GRATITUDE for this experience and all the people I met during those days.

Delegate Spotlight: Margie

March 11, 2016

Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming International Solidarity Delegation in July!  

MargieSpotlight On: Margie Carroll

SHARE Delegation Experience: 2015 Churchwomen Commemoration Delegation

Why did you decide to participate in SHARE’s major delegation?
Knowing that it was the 35th anniversary of the four Churchwomen’s martyrdom, I searched the web and gratefully discovered that a delegation was being sponsored by SHARE/LCWR. Immediately I knew that my heart was leading me to be a sojourner! I was so excited that I invited my daughter, Megan, to accompany me.  She was born on December 4, 1979,and was about to celebrate her 1st birthday when the women were killed on December 2, 1980.  I promised myself then that some day I would visit the community where Dorothy, Ita, Maura, and Maureen served. To my surprise and delight, Megan decided to join me at the last minute.  I treasure the experience we shared.

How were you challenged?
I did not feel particularly challenged until a crown, which had been on an upper back tooth for 32 years, decided to fall off just before leaving on an overnight visit with the welcoming community of Chalatenango. How like the “God of Surprises” to zap me with ongoing pain from a jagged exposed tooth for the next five days until I could get back to my dentist in San Diego! The experience was a good lesson of being in solidarity with the poor who cannot always seek medical assistance.
How does your experience continue to inspire you in your work/life/passions today?
The delegation experience reinforced my commitment to be a voice for those who may not have the freedom to speak out. I serve on the board of Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego whose mission is to provide quality pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations, particularly for asylum seekers, unaccompanied children coming over the border, domestic violence, and human trafficking.  We use every opportunity to interact with the public to clarify media misconceptions about immigration and why people are fleeing Central America. The delegation experience also provided me with much to share with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW National Alumni Council and the new JustFaith program on immigration that we are starting in our parish.


Fasting to Lift Oppression

February 25, 2016

Today we share reflections by Sister Janet Marie Peterworth, OSU, President of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, about her participation in our December 2015 Remembering the Churchwomen Delegation.


Sr. Carol Reamer and Sr. Janet Marie Peterworth at a memorial to the four churchwomen.

My reflections today come from the last part of this day’s reading from Isaiah (58: 1-9a) on the kind of fast that our God wants. I was reflecting about this in the context of my recent trip to El Salvador. The background of that trip started many years ago. A brutal civil war was raging in that country. The military was propping up the government and the two together were truly oppressing the indigenous people and the poor by confiscating their land for big multinational corporations—land that had been theirs for many years. The government was using the scorched earth policy. That meant the military went from village to village burning everything so that the people would have nothing to come back to. And with monetary help and training from our United States government, they murdered over 72,000 people in that civil war. Read More »

Settling into Flexibility

March 23, 2015

The Northwest School in Seattle sends a delegation of high school students each year to learn about the reality of El Salvador. John Leslie, one of this year’s delegates writes of his first experience in NWS’s sistering community of Husisilapa.


Students walk through the area around Husisilapa

Today we loaded up the bus and were on our way to Husisilapa. After about an hour of joyous singing we rolled up next to the Husisilapa plaza. As our bus approached I realized that the people in the village were just as excited about our arrival as we were. It was all smiles as they stopped whatever they were doing to welcome us into their community. Read More »

Delegate Reflection: Scars

March 14, 2015

Drew Theological Seminary visited El Salvador in January for a two week Cross Cultural Experience where they met with various community and church leaders to learn about and analyze the Salvadoran reality. Chelsea Jackson, one of the students on the trip wrote the following reflection. 

Scars.  We bear them on our bodies, our hearts, and at times our collective soul.  As one who has obtained many scars over my life, some more visible than others, Sister Peggy’s call to acknowledge and proudly bear the scars entrusted to us by El Salvador was like a call to continue proclaiming the messiness of life.  And boy did I gain some scars.  I gained scars with each community we visited, as new relationships were forged through mutuality.  I gained scars as I met with political activists calling for greater recognition of the humanness, power and potential of the Salvadoran people.  I gained scars as I climbed mountains, stayed in hospitable homes and met with organizations who sought to empower the disenfranchised. Read More »

Drew Delegation: A Photo Essay

January 21, 2015

Today, we say Adios to the delegation from Drew Theological Seminary! They were truly a wonderful group to accompany throughout the country of El Salvador. Enjoy the following pictures and quotes that were heard along the way.



“We shouldn’t talk about Monsenor Romero. We should talk like Monsenor Romero. We should act like Monsenor Romero.” Sister Noehmy from Pequeña Comunidad



“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.” Monseñor Oscar Romero



“Food Sovereignty is the basic human right to access to clean food and water.” Kristi Van Nostran

Read More »

Delegate Spotlight: Diane

December 22, 2014

Our new blog series, Delegate Spotlight, will feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming Romero Delegation in March! 

Spotlight on: Diane Clyne, Sister of Mercy

Diane and fellow women religious during SHARE’s 2012 Women Religious Delegation.

Major Delegation Experience:
“I was part of the last big religious women’s delegation (2012). I  have been a part of at least six or more religious women’s delegations, a couple of election observation delegations, and as a board member for a decade or more, many board delegations.”
 Why did you go and what did you gain?  “Well I have come to love the Salvadoran people and have been so inspired by their courage and hope in the midst of struggle. Having lived in the country, I need to go back, to tell the story, to encourage friends and to keep the ties with so many people there. The evidence of some major mistakes in US economic and foreign policy are blatantly obvious there.

SHARE’s 2012 Women Religious delegation!

I need to keep hearing the people’s analysis, understand the steps that they take, and listen to their wisdom on the path to a more just global reality.”

Lessons Learned: Delegate Reflections

November 13, 2014

During the week of October 18th, 2014, eleven parishioners from Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City continued their 26 year journey of accompaniment with Maria Madre de los Pobres Parish with a visit to El Salvador. After tending to medical clinics in the morning, the group visited the sacred sites and met with community members. Through it all they were touched, spurring them on to recommit to strengthening their relationship of solidarity. The following are quotes from various delegation participants.

“This is my 10th trip to [Maria Madre de los Pobres Parish]…my awareness of the world’s problems is always increased.”

“[Visiting the parish,] I see the importance of family and support for their family members. They look out for each other much more than Americans. I have been humbled by the way they live and how hard they must work to survive.”

“It is hard to accept that we live as we do back home when people here have so little.”

“I must say that I am often disappointed to see evidence of the US everywhere—Burger King, Wendy’s, Walmart. I wish our presence was evident in better ways.”

“We have common hope and common despair—we share the same place in the world. We need each other.”

If you are interested in how to start a sistering relationship between your church/community/school and the Salvadoran people, visit our website or contact our Grassroots Coordinator, Sarah Hall, at today!

Inspired: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Delegates Reflect

September 20, 2014

In July, nine delegates from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Wisconsin visited El Salvador. During the past eight years, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has stood in solidarity with their sistering community, Rutilio Grande, in their sistering region, UCRES. Three delegates share their reflections on the inspiring people of El Salvador.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton delegation with the kids in Rutilio Grande.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton delegation with the kids in Rutilio Grande.

“Oh how I miss El Salvador!  I close my eyes and can see so many familiar faces. Whenever I’m in church I think of celebrating mass in El Paisnal with all of our friends from Rutilio Grande….I am amazed at the passion of the people. From Luis working with the youth in the community to Felicia teaching her mother to read. Antonio trying his best to lead his little community to Jorge developing organic materials to help feed his people healthy food and protect the environment. Carmen keeping the horrible past of the civil war and the lives lost alive as a lesson to be learned from and remembered. The list can go on and on. They give their all without thinking of themselves.” Jacqueline Konkol

Read More »

New Relationship, New Perspective

September 9, 2014

Laura Gilman visited El Salvador with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton delegation in July 2014 and wrote a reflection to share about her moving experience. 

I want to share a story with you of how my immersion trip to El Salvador has changed me.

Several weeks before we left on our trip in early July, my Mother kept calling me telling me stories of the immigrant children arriving at the border in Arizona where she lived.  They had nothing with them and were sick and there was a fear of diseases spreading.  I thought, “How could a mother do this?  How could she let her child travel all alone thru Central America and Mexico and the danger they faced on this journey?”  Then I met a mother.  She is a mother in Rutillio Grande, our sistering community in El Salvador.  She told us her story of her son.  He is 17 years old and was a recipient of a scholarship from Seton to go to school and was a good student.  But he was afraid of the gangs and the violence.  He faced them on his way to school and was at the age that gangs were recruiting new members.   He was afraid for his life and asked to go to the U.S. and be with his father.   She finally agreed and got a loan at 20% interest and paid close to $7000 to a coyote guide who took him through Central America and Mexico and dropped him off at the border to cross on his own.  It took him almost 14 days to get to the US border with little food or water.  It was December when he arrived to the border and it was a time when there were freezing rains and ice storms in Texas.  He was freezing cold and wet when he crossed the Rio Grande.  He had hypothermia and literally thought he was going to die from the cold so he turned himself in to immigration.  They took him in and helped him.  They were able to reunite him with his father in Atlanta.  He has been allowed to stay in the US as long as he stays in school and gets good grades.

Read More »

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