POSA writes from Salvador

Dear Friends, 9th May, 2016. Greetings from San Salvador. I arrived here on 2nd May to participate in the Joint meeting of the two Conferences of USA-Canada and of CPAL (Latin America and the Caribbean). Mike Lewis, sj President of JESAM (Africa/Madagascar) also joined us in this meeting. Fr. General was very much with us from 3-5 May. The meet provided great opportunity for the provincials of both the Conference to share on Fe Y Alegria , MAGIS, Migration and Formation and to explore ways of greater collaboration. They even dared to discuss the possibility of becoming one Conference! The presidents of each of our four Conferences shared on our Conferences through short presentations. The most inspiring moments for me were the visits to the tombs of Monsignor Romero at the Cathedral, and that of Ellacuria and Companions at the Jesuit Residence. The little chapel where Romero was murdered continues to attract people. Blood stained vestments and recorded homilies of Romero rekindled our memories and inspired us to commit for a faith that does justice. Unfortunately, the process of investigation continues to be entangled in Govt Amnesty and hold of the army, while the process of beatification is going on smoothly. Visiting the Rose Garden in the Jesuit Residence of the Central American University where Ellacuria and companions were murdered, was an intense and invigorating experience. The well- kept museum of the many martyrs of El Salvador including Ellacuria and companions and the chapel where they are buried vibrate with memories of the cost of discipleship. Ellacuria had said that God visited his people of El Salvador through the death of Romero; now we could say that the Lord confirmed his way through the death of Ellacuria and Companions. After all these years, the process of investigation both in El Salvador and in Spain is entangled in legal battles. The Joint Conference meeting was followed by CPAL meeting where the provincials deliberated on many issues that pertain CPAL that is spread over many countries. Fe Y Alegria, Magis, Migration, Panamazonian eco-reserve, and formation etc were discussed and deliberated upon. Though spread out in so many countries, the key issues of the mission like Fe Y Alegria and Panamazonic give greater focus to their mission. Just now I am staying in the Jesuit community of the Central University and learning more about their work, especially through the department of theology. Asian theologians like Aloysius Pieris and Michael Amaladoss are known to the theologians here. I also hope to meet Javier Aguilar, sj, 84 year old Jesuit who was the mentor for Rutilio Grande and Romero; the former being the inspiration for the latter and whose martyrdom converted Romero into a prophetic voice. The cause for beatification of Rutilio Grande, sj has been initiated. Fe y Alegria has a pedagogy that is based on the Exercises and provides a vision of education that is holistic and formative. Our non-formal education centres could be adapted to this model. I leave on Sunday for Guyana and hope to visit the missions where Indian Jesuits are working; there are 12 of them and Joseph Raj (CCU) will join them sooner. The South-South collaboration between CPAL and JCSA is mutually enriching. Some of CPAL Jesuits come to our tertianships. En Salvador continues to suffer from gang violence related to drugs; extortions and murders are not uncommon. Paraguay and Guyana continue to look for personnel support from JCS. Let us encourage our young men to opt for a period of service to this region so that we continue to embody the universal call. Warm regards, George Pattery,sj