El Salvador

A Shepherd with the Smell of his Sheep

By Fr. Cireneo Matulac

The author, known to many as “Father Dodong”, is a Columban priest from Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay. He had worked in China for quite a number of years. At present, he is part of the formation staff at the Columban House of Studies in Cubao, Quezon City.

In the film Monseñor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero, the Archbishop is seen in the cafeteria of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center of San Salvador having coffee with the people. This was at the height of the military repression in El Salvador and people flocked to him to tell their stories about missing loved ones and those who were killed. One of the women said, “I only had pieces of him to bury, and I cried out, ‘Why did they burn him? Why did they kill him? My son was not an assassin.’” Monseñor Romero listened to their stories and afterwards he instructed the lawyers to document the circumstances of the killings and by doing so, he gave voice to the victims.

In this essay I would like to focus on Romero’s personal witness and his role as shepherd of the church who accompanied his people selflessly and offered his life for them.

Archbishop Romero Of El Salvador 1917-1980

A UN Truth Commission investigating in 1992 the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador, concluded:

On Monday, 24 March 1980, the Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez, was celebrating Mass in the Chapel of the Hospital de la Divina Providencia when he was killed by a professional assassin who fired a single .22 or .223 caliber bullet from a red, four-door Volkswagen vehicle. The bullet hit its mark, causing the Archbishop's death from severe bleeding.

Archbishop Romero

In The ‘Land Of The Savior’…They Chose To Die

On 2 December 1980 Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and Maryknoll lay missionary Jean Donovan went to the international airport in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, to meet Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke who had been at a meeting of their congregation in nearby Nicaragua. The four American women were working on behalf of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, helping refugees who were fleeing from violence.

Shut Down The School Of The Americas

By Jane Sammon

The logo of the School of the Americas (SOA) is a circle which as its very center rights groups, SOA Watch, “the flagship of Christopher Columbus”, with a darkly sketched cross in the middle of its sail. On the other half of the circle’s border is the motto: Uno Para Todos y Todos Para Uno. Lastly, and surrounding all of this, are the flags of various Latin America and Caribbean nations, plus a rather discreetly positioned Stars and Stripes. One might assume it is there to indicate our unobtrusive role in this tidy arrangement, as “equal among equals,” a “one for all and all for one” camaraderie.