Saturday, April 10, 2010

A LIGHT FOR HUMANITY


Last evening I and Sr Anna and Mary went to the next town to a movie that we did not want to miss; it was in honor of the assasinated Bishop of Guatemala, Juan Gerardi. It was the last evening for the movie and less than ten people were there. It was not published in the local newspaper. It was produced by the Office of Human Rights of the Archdiocese of Guatemala. It will be made available by this office in the future in DVD so it can be viewed by the people in communities. Here in Central America, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and Bishop Juan Gerardi of Guatemala are already considered SAINTS, Prophets, and Martyrs of the faith by the people. That this picture was able to be produced and viewed in movie houses around GUATEMALA is great advancement for HUMAN RIGHTS in a country and a CHURCH that suffered repression and assasinations in the eighties. More than 15 religious were assasinated during this time. Monse├▒or Juan Gerardi and Fr. Stan Rother, friend and missionary of the Oklahoman Dioscesean Mission on Lake Atitlan were two martyrs of great importance to us. Montana, Oklahoma, and Spokane responded to the call of the Pope to send Catholic missionaries to Latin America in the sixties. Thousands of Catechists, Union Leaders, University students, professors, and field workers disappeared, were assasinated, or tortured in this decade.

For me this movie had special significance as I witnessed the suffering repression and armed conflict of the eighties when these masacres and disappearances took place. Now more than thirty years later the truth is being made known and families are demanding their right to justice. Bishop Juan Gerardi published a documentary in 1998 with all the names and those responsible for the deaths and disappearances; two days later he was assasinated in the rectory of his parish, a few blocks from the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City. Four Military commanders are now in prison for this assasination.

His committment to justice and truth has not been in vain. BLESSED BE HIS NAME!