The Adventures of April

We shall not cease from exploration - And the end of all our exploring - Will be to arrive where we started - And know the place for the first time. -- T.S. Eliot

Thursday, October 19, 2006


On Tuesday I spent the day going to museums. This was one of the main things I wanted to do on this trip, and one of the main reasons that I came to San Salvador. Ever since learning about Monsenor Oscar Romero, I have been captivated by his story and teachings. Romero was a Catholic Archbishop. He was originally a member of the conservative oligarchy that supported the civil war in El Salvador in the 1970s, but after several of his fellow priests were assassinated, his eyes were opened to the plight of the poor and oppressed. He became an outspoken critic of the government and the oligarchy, even calling for soldiers to lay their guns down forever and join the mass. While he was proclaiming this during a homily, US-backed assassins broke into the church and murdered him.

This type of occurrence was commonplace during most of Central America in the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980s, six Jesuit priests along with their maid and her daughter were murdered at the University of Central America in San Salvador. At the museum there, I was able to learn about their lives, see their bloodstained clothing, as well as tour their quarters.

I also had the opportunity to go to the church where Romero was murdered. It was very powerful. I think too what was amazing was that after he was killed, they made a little museum for him (the one I went to). But the government tried to annihilate this as well! Many of the pictures on display were meant to show not only who was in the photo but the melted glass of the frame from the heat of the bombs. It just amazes me that the powers of evil so grossly underestimate the power of love and the spirit of the people who will be testament to Romero and the other Jesuits even if they blew up the whole country.

Romero´s story inspires me because he was not the "activist type" and indeed came from a priviliged background. But his story demonstrates the power of conversion and of transformation to realizing that the point of this life is to be instruments to God´s grace in the here and now by doing the basic things that Jesus commanded like feeding and clothing the poor and standing up for injustice.


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