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Loyola commemorates Jesuits' assassination with Martyrs Week

Loyola press release - November 13, 2009

The Loyola University Community Action Program will hold a week of activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the assassination of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador during its 12-year civil war. On Nov. 16, 1989, the priests, along with a housekeeper and her daughter, were killed by members of the El Salvadoran military at the University of Central America Pastoral Center in San Salvador.

On campus events include:

  • General LUCAP meeting, Monday, Nov. 16, 5– 6 p.m., Magis Lounge, with torture survivor Carlos Maurico and friends, who will speak about their experiences and the School of the Americas peace vigil caravan, Journey for Justice.
  • “Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Human Rights and Catholic Social Teaching” lecture, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., Danna Student Center St. Charles Room, with Katrine Camilleri, Ph.D., assistant director, Jesuit Refugee Services, Malta.
  • “Romero” film screening, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Magis Lounge.
  • Prayer Service for Peace, Thursday, Nov. 19, 5:30 p.m., Peace Quad.

On Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 a.m., Loyola University New Orleans students will travel to Columbus, Ga., to join thousands of demonstrators for a non-violent protest and peace vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, where the School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, is located. The protest holds special significance on this anniversary, as some of the El Salvadoran soldiers involved in the Jesuits’ death received training at the SOA.

“Ignacio Ellacuria [the UCA rector] and his companions were not only killed, they were shot through the head as a sign because they chose to stand for justice and peace in a war-torn El Salvador,” said Josh Daly, associate chaplain. “They continue to offer an inspiring witness to the mission of a Jesuit university in the face of violence and injustice in our world.”

The Ignatian Solidarity Network will also hold a teach-in on justice during the weekend at Fort Benning.

The cost of the trip is $50. To sign up, visit the LUCAP office. For more information on Martyr’s Week, contact Daly at 504-865-2141 or jdaly@loyno.edu.

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