BY CHRIS KERR | August 21, 2011
The Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador have been in the news a lot lately – the Salvadoran government is hopefully taking definitive actions to call those responsible for the deaths of the Jesuits and the two women to justice. This coming November when more than 1,000 people connected with the Ignatian family gather in Washington, DC, for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice we will recognize the 22nd anniversary of martyrdom of these six Jesuit priests and their companions who were killed on November 16, 1989.
In a way, I find this 22nd anniversary challenging because we are crossing a generational line in the sand that will change how this event is viewed forever. The deaths of the martyrs will no longer be a part of the lifespans of Jesuit high school and university students. Instead, we will have to find contemporary ways to share the impact of this tragedy that caused many in our society and especially our Ignatian family to give greater attention to the struggles faced by the economically poor and marginalized of El Salvador and our world. In the years to come, we will have to respond to this challenge – finding new ways to share memories of the martyrs but also contemporary applications of their passion and commitment to the “service of faith and promotion of justice”.
Below are links to some of the recent news stories:
- El Salvador denies that protecting those arrested for the crime of the Jesuits
- War Crimes Suspect Found In Massachusetts
- Nine El Salvador ex-soldiers held
- Salvadoran ex-soldiers turn themselves in after indictment in priests’ murder
- Spain Pushes Jesuit Martyrs Murder Case
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.