Nicholas Napolitano
Nicholas Napolitano
Nicholas Napolitano is the assistant for social ministries for the Jesuits’ Maryland, New England and New York Provinces. 

Ignacio Ellacuría - Presente! Elba Ramos - Presente! Joaquin López y López - Presente! Juan Ramón Moreno - Presente!

When I think about the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, of Elba and Celina Ramos, I think of my first encounter of their lives and witness during the 1999 Ignatian Family Teach-In held under a tent on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia, on the tenth anniversary of their murders. Gathered with students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni of Jesuit educational institutions, I found the spirit of the martyrs, their commitment to live close with the suffering poor caught amidst the violence of El Salvador’s civil war, moving among those gathered at the Teach-In. 

In speeches by students, Jesuits and faith-justice leaders, I sat in awe and wonder at how the lives of the martyrs inspired so many to address the injustices they found in their community and our world today: U.S. policies in Central America, domestic poverty, the death penalty, criminal justice reform. In prayer and liturgy with hundreds of people formed by the Jesuits in the U.S., I found a beloved community looking for a way to bring about God’s kingdom of peace and justice here on Earth. 

Ignacio Martin-Baró - Presente! Celina Ramos - Presente! Segundo Montes - Presente! Amando López - Presente!

Brutally murdered 10 years before because of their accompaniment and work to protect the poor, the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador were Presente — alive and present among those gathered. In the words of Fr. Ellacuría, SJ, rector of the Universidad Centroamericana at the time of his murder, the Ignatian family was continuing to reach out to the crucified poor among us and work to take them down from the cross.

On the 25th anniversary of the murders of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, over 1,300 people will gather in Washington, D.C., for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. In speeches, prayer, small group conversations and legislative advocacy on Capitol Hill, the Ignatian family will continue to draw hope and inspiration from the martyrs for a more just and peaceful world. Presente!

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America 2/18/19

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