During my short visit to El Salvador for the beatification of Oscar Romero, one of the things that left the deepest impression on me was meeting people who had known Romero personally, or whose work had been affected by him. Unsurprisingly, several of these people work for Caritas El Salvador.
Events for the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero began Friday evening with a procession of light. Unfortunately, that turned into a procession of umbrellas as it’s the rainy season in El Salvador. But the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.
Oscar Romero was killed for denouncing violence and defending the poor. Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 to 1980, he was murdered while celebrating Mass. In the decade that followed his death, more than 60,000 Salvadorans died in the civil war.
Romero is already considered a saint by Salvadorans. On Saturday 23 May however, he will take the next step on the path to official sainthood during a beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the capital San Salvador.
Brigitte Dorge, Regional Youth Intern from the Archdiocese of Winnipeg
This winter, I began an internship with Development and Peace.
What an exciting opportunity it has been for me to apply my studies outside of the classroom! Even more exciting, is that through this internship, I am able to work towards building a world of justice, which is one my passions!
Upon my recent visit to Iraq, I saw the intense psychological distress that over 500,000 Iraqi Yazidis experience every day. They have had to abandon their houses and families in order to o survive the violence of ISIS.
by Janelle Delorme, Regional Animator for Manitoba
The first time I heard about Sierra Leone, I was 14 or 15. I read an article about child soldiers who were fighting in the civil war. From the pictures I saw - children with guns, drugged and dismembered - it certainly did not appear “civil.” My heart broke. I couldn’t stay silent about this injustice so I wrote a paper for a high school project. At the time, the civil war in Sierra Leone was not on many people’s radar and the international community only started to talk about blood diamonds years later.
By Heidi Matthews, Hamilton Diocesan Council Chair
From March 13th to the 17th, the Diocese of Hamilton was blessed to have a Solidarity Visitor, Fr. Alberto Franco, CSsR, from Columbia.
Fr. Franco is the Executive Secretary of Development and Peace’s partner, the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace (CIJP). He has been an ardent defender of human rights for over 20 years and has been accompanying Afro-Colombians, indigenous peoples and peasant farmers in defending and reclaiming their lands.
Suzanne Slobodian, Fundraising Officer - Major Gifts and Planned Giving
Last Friday, March 13th, staff and National Council members had the privilege of experiencing the first edition of a fundraising activity initiated by the Fundraising/Communications Working Group of the Share Lent Campaign organizing committee: a silent auction!
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the nation received a massive influx of humanitarian assistance. However, assistance was not always allocated in such a way as to respect human rights. In some cases, it was distributed in poor conditions, where people had to line up for hours to receive food assistance, or without taking into account the real needs of communities.
Stephanie Nguyen, Regional Youth Intern for British Columbia and Yukon
It was exciting to learn that British Columbia would have the honour of hosting Fr. Edwin Gariguez as this year’s Solidarity Visitor. Fr. Edwin is the Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA. He has been playing an important role in bringing about humanitarian aid in the Philippines to those who have been displaced by Typhoons Haiyan and Hagupit, and addressing issues of injustice in the Philippines that perpetuate poverty.