The El Salvador Martyrs
November 16, 1989
Remembering and Celebrating - Renewing a Commitment to Justice
The El Salvador assassination of Six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter,
continues to remind us of our mission and offers us inspiration and vision.
 Click on photos to see full frame.
Bodies of Jesuits in El Salvador, November 16, 1989As it happened,
in 1989:

Photo from video, "A Question of Conscience," ©1990, Icarus/Tamouz Media, Inc.


Six prominent Jesuit priests, including the rector and vice rector of El Salvador's most prestigious university, were killed today along with two other persons at the house were they slept in the capital.
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By Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.

Before the end of darkness on the morning of Nov. 16, with unspeakable and barbaric cruelty, armed men burst into the Jesuit residence at the University of Central America in San Salvador and shot six Jesuit priests to death.  At the same time, the community's cook and her daughter were murdered in their bed.  According to reliable reports, several of the priests, my brothers, had their brains torn from their heads.
Click to read full story.


The remains of six Jesuit priests killed here last week were placed today in a chapel crypt underneath a portrait of slain archbishop Oscar Armulfo Romero amid mounting evidence of a campaign of intimidation against liberal members of the clergy.
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In Solidarity with the Slain Jesuits of El Salvador

Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J. gave this homily at a memorial Mass for the slain Jesuits of El Salvador at St. Ignatius Church in New York City on November 22, 1989

The occasion for our liturgy is the tragedy of last Thursday, Nov. 16, when six Jesuits and two of their household family at the Central American University in San Salvador were brutally murdered and mutilated in the early morning hours.  We mourn not only for them, but for all the victims of this wasteful war that for more than 10 years has bled a tiny, tortured country.  We mourn for the 70,000 people of El Salvador who have died in this war and the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced by the fighting. 

We remember the martyrs that preceded last Thursday’s victims, Rutillo Grande, a Jesuit assassinated in 1977, the same year that a right-wing paramilitary group ordered all Jesuits to leave the country or face a sentence of death.  We remember Archbishop Oscar Romero, struck down by an assassin’s bullet in 1980 while celebrating Mass.  We remember also the four American women missionaries who were kidnapped, assaulted and murdered by military forces in December of 1980....

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Icon of November 16, 1989 Martyrs of El Salvador. Icon by Robert Lentz,OFM, 1991, Bridge Building Images
"The struggle against injustice
and the pursuit of truth
cannot be separated nor can one
work for one independent of the other."
Ignatio Ellacuría, S.J. - Murdered superior of Jesuit community

10th Anniversary Memorial at Creighton University
November 16, 1999

click here to view more Memorial Photos

Pilgrims' Journal
Click here to read the journals of 

four members of the Creighton Community

on Pilgrimage to El Salvador

for the 10th Anniversary in 1999

Jesuit Reflections

Click here to read the reflections of

members of the Jesuit community

on the meaning of this anniversary

for them.

Company Magazine

Click here for special features:

"El Salvador: Ten Years Later"

November, 1999
Leo O'Donovan, S.J.
President of Georgetown University
"While we still grieve their loss, the 10th anniversary of the Jesuit assassinations offers an important opportunity to reflect on the enduring legacy of the martyrs."
December 16, 1999
The Washington Post.
click here.
Higher Standards for Higher Education:
The Christian University and Solidarity
Dean Brackley, S.J.
Universidad Centroamericana 
"José Simeón Cañas"
San Salvador
A talk given at Creighton University
on October 4, 1999
Click to read the full text.

See past Creighton events here.

A Provincial Letter
by Bert Thelen, S.J.
upon returning from El Salvador 
for the celebration
of the 1st Anniversary,
November, 1999

Memorial Poster of the Martyrs

of the Martyrs

LINKS for exploring the meaning of this Anniversary:

The Stations
of the Cross
from the Jesuit Chapel
at the University of Central America.
12th Station - Photo by Don Doll, S.J.

The 4 Churchwomen Martyred in El Salvador
Links to more information on the American women killed by El Salvador National Guardsmen on 12/2/80.

Maryknoll Tribute 
A tribute to Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clark, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay missioner Jean Donovan. 

"Enemies of War" 
A study guide for the PBS special on American Involvement in El Salvador.

"Death & Lies in El Salvador" 
Story on former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White. Appeared in
Commonweal Magazine, Oct. 26, 2001 by Margaret O'Brien Steinfels.

Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico: Wonderful resources, including information on Romero, the four church women and these 8 martyrs of El Salvador; legislative action alerts; a newsletter; links.

El Salvador Research Resources
from the University of Texas


Encarta Encyclopedia
Overview of country,
people, history

Universidad Centroamerica
Home page of Jesuit Univeristy

The Truth Commission Report

PBS Newhour on the
School of the Americas

Bishops of Latin America on closing the School of the Americas

Text of House of Representatives Bill to close the School of thge Americas.

An Exerpt:
John Paul II
to the Synod of the Americas
"On the Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ: the way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America"
Mexico City, Jan. 22, 1999

Social sins which cry to heaven
56. The Church's social doctrine also makes possible a clearer appreciation of the gravity of the “social sins which cry to heaven because they generate violence, disrupt peace and harmony between communities within single nations, between nations and between the different regions of the continent”.

Click to read full text.

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