Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador

BY GUEST BLOGGER | November 17, 2011

Written by Mary Mietlicki – Canisius College ’12

22 years ago, on November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were martyred at the University of Central America, the Jesuit university in San Salvador, during the Salvadoran civil war.  These Jesuit priests were killed for practicing “a faith that does justice.”  They were answering God’s call to serve the most marginalized members of society, the most oppressed during the civil war, and were killed for doing so.

After these men were murdered, another Jesuit answered God’s call to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick” of El Salvador.  Fr. Dean Brackley volunteered to move from the United States to El Salvador to serve at the University of Central America as a professor and to minister to poor communities of El Salvador.  Just as Jesus speaks of in the Gospel today, Dean Brackley saw the face of God in the Salvadoran people.  Just last month, Dean Brackley passed away in El Salvador after battling pancreatic cancer.  He died living out this call from God.

I would like to share with you a short excerpt of a passage written by Dean Brackley:

“I invite you to discover your vocation in downward mobility.  It’s a scary request…But let us teach solidarity, walking with the victims, serving and loving.  I offer this for you to consider…And I would say in this enterprise there is a great deal of hope.  Have the courage to lose control.  Have the courage to feel useless.  Have the courage to listen.  Have the courage to receive.  Have the courage to let your heart be broken.  Have the courage to feel.  Have the courage to fall in love.  Have the courage to get ruined for life.  Have the courage to make a friend.”

I am certainly no expert, but I like to think that this courage that Dean Brackley is talking about can be found by trusting in God, and by following his call.

The six Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador were killed for having this courage, for following God’s call.  They had the courage to see the face of God by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick.  Have you found this courage to listen to God’s call?

My mom is a big fan of scratch-off lottery tickets.  They are a staple in birthday cards and Christmas stockings in my family.  My mom also likes to use this as a measuring device to determine if we are doing things with our lives that we actually want to do.  Sometimes she asks us what we would do if we won the jackpot.  My brother, Robert, always says, “even if Mary won the lottery she would still go to school to be a teacher.”  I like to think of this as my “jackpot vocation.”

Think about it.  I challenge you to have the courage to find something that you would do even if you won the jackpot.  Have the courage to see the face of God in the people you work with.  I would be willing to bet that this thing is what God is calling you to do.  Canisius offers us so many opportunities to learn about the world and find our calling from God.  Have the courage to learn, experience, live.  Have the courage to find your “jackpot vocation.”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *