My work with Central American refugees and immigrants as a Jesuit Volunteer led to my first foray to El Salvador — and the UCA. That brief time there captured my imagination and, years later, I returned to El Salvador and the UCA, this time as a Fulbright Scholar. Fr. Dean Brackley, SJ, was my academic mentor and, under his tutelage, I discovered it was Ellacuría who had selected the artwork hanging in the back of the chapel; it embodied his belief to “take the crucified people down from the cross.”
Today, those images are Ellacuría’s exhortation to us all to also say “Yes,” just as he — and the other Jesuits who were murdered — did. Yes we believe there is life after death. Yes, we will confront the suffering in this life; and Yes, we will take action to alleviate this suffering. To me, Fr. Dean serves as an example to emulate. Soon after the murder of the UCA Jesuits, a call went out worldwide amongst the Jesuits to come to the UCA to take their place. Fr. Dean, a Jesuit from the New York Province, was working in the Bronx at that time. He said "Yes."
Karen Delio visited El Salvador as a Fulbright Scholar and studied the paintings that adorn the UCA chapel where the martyrs are buried. Here she stands next to Roberto Huezo, the artist who painted the “Stations of the Cross of the Crucified People.”