Monday, December 02, 2002

Tonight I went to see Roses In December, a documentary about the life of Jean Donovan, who was killed in El Salvador along with three other American women, nuns, in 1980. The sick part is that her killers didn't go to trial and were released, despite confessing to the murders. It was a time of civil war in El Salvador, and the side that murdered the women was the side supported by the United States.

It made me think a lot. This woman left behind her very prestigious life, her family and her fiancee to work as a missionary helping poor refugees in El Salvador during a time of civil war. She knew her life was in danger. She knew she'd probably be killed. She had thought about leaving El Salvador, but each time she thought about it, she realized she couldn't, because her next thought would be the faces of the refugee children who would then have no one to help them. She was murdered by soldiers who then dumped her and her three friends into a shallow grave. And she knew that she would not be the last one it would happen to. Ah, I realized, that is why we're here tonight. That is why there is a documentary about Jean. She truly, almost literally, lived the Gospel. There is a lot of parallel between her story and the story of Christ. And like Christ, she died for her faith.

After the movie, there was a prayer service, featuring a litany of many of the martyrs of Central America. There were names from not only the Americas, but Belguim, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland. Hundreds of names that were not mentioned either. I've been inspired recently to read about the lives of people like Jean Donovan and Cesar Chavez, and Archbishop Romero. This event tonight has reinforced that.

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