I fell madly in love with El Salvador 20 years ago. I suppose the conditions were perfect -- two years after the peace accords; a connection with the humanity of the hospitable and organized community of Las Vueltas; encouragement from a trusted teacher to examine my own privilege and opportunity as a U.S. citizen to incite change; and midway through a transition myself. This 17-year-old kid was looking for the next step, the new frontier, and I wanted to commit myself to a just relationship.
Arkansas Bishop Anthony Taylor's July 25 statement is worth the read, as he has firsthand experience of what's happening in Central America.
For the last four years I have served as a member of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that capacity I visited El Salvador two months ago as part of a Regional Consultation on Migration looking into the plight of refugees fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Central America.
I'm home from a week of lobbying in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the refugee children on our southern border. There were 13 of us, 11 from Loretto and two from our Guatemalan sister community, Sagrada Familia. We had appointments with 25 senators and representatives, plus other drop-in visits. We crossed the Capitol between the House and Senate office buildings three or four times each day.
A Latin America expert for Catholic Relief Services, the head of the bishops' migration committee and the president of a Catholic college in Michigan were among those urging the government toward humanitarian responses to a surge of children and families crossing the U.S. border from Central America.
Making a Difference: What kind of welcome is being offered to the children fleeing desperate conditions? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined.
"These children and families have journeyed to our country, fleeing violence and destitution in Central America. ... They are exhausted, afraid and clinging to hope."
Despite fevered speculation, the Vatican says Pope Francis has not advanced slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero toward sainthood -- at least, not yet.
NCR Today: What's the fuss over teacher contracts? Parish food pantry director forced from job; Church and politics in Louisanna, the Philippines and El Salvador.
A judge in Miami ruled that former Salvadoran Gen. Jose Guillermo Garcia "assisted or otherwise participated in" torture and assassinations, including the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
NCR Today: Supreme Court hears Hobby Lobby contraception case; Lent and shopping; quiz: What's the Sydney archdiocese worth? Plus, the "Francis effect" in Indianapolis.