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Online Newsletter of CRISPAZ
Christians for Peace in El Salvador 

Summer Edition 2017
Blessed Romero Centennial Celebrations

 August 15th marked the centennial of Blessed Romero's birth, an event that was marked in El Salvador by  special anniversary activities. The Archdiocese and the people of El Salvador  celebrated his life and legacy.

 Among the events that celebrated the "Voice of the Voiceless" liturgies, commemorative lectures as well as a three-day procession made up of 1,500 pilgrims, traveled from Romero's crypt to his hometown of Ciudad Barrios, some 90 miles away.

 Hundreds of devotees attended the special service co-celebrated by Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, special representative from Pope Francis; Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador; Monsignor Jose Luis Escobar, Archbishop of San Salvador, as well as local and international pastors and priests. In his message, cardinal Erazzi said that Blessed Romero is the hope of El Salvador.

Delegation of Arch. Moeller H.S. vistit Blessed Romero's crypt.

 During their visit hosted by CRISPAZ, delegations from Archbishop Moeller High School and Santa Clara University Faculty and Staff had the opportunity to attend the events held at the Crypt and the special memorial service at the downtown Cathedral of San Salvador.

 Blessed Romero continues to speak to us through his teachings and his courage, his devotion for the poor, his witness of solidarity and sacrifice for the people of El Salvador. The Diocese of San Salvador has proclaimed a Jubilee year, with events during 2017-2018 all over  the country as well as other parts of the world. 

Hundreds of devotees attended the special service at Metropoilitan Cathedral

CRISPAZ Welcomes New Delegations Coordinator

 We are happy to welcome the newest member to the CRISPAZ family, Andreina Barrientos.

 As of last month Andy has been the new Delegation Program Coordinator and has successfully led her first three delegations.
 Andy graduated from La Asuncion catholic school and currently studies psychology at Universidad Francisco Gavidia. She has previously worked teaching English as a second language and hiring personnel in the human resources department of a telecommunications call center.

 In her free time Andy serves as a parishioner at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal church in El Salvador, for the last 10 years she has also been a member of the Catholic Community of El Salvador del Mundo, where she currently gives counseling to the youth of her church's community.

 CRISPAZ is very pleased to have Andy as a member of our family.

Fr. Paul Schindler 2017 CRISPAZ Peace Award Honoree
 Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) will honor Fr. Paul Schindler, with the CRISPAZ Peace Award on October 17, 2017. Fr. Paul will be receiving the award at an evening reception to be held at John Carroll University, University Heights, OH. The CRISPAZ Peace Award honors a particular individual or organization each year who has demonstrated a significant commitment to the promotion of peace and social justice. CRISPAZ, the awarding organization, has for more than three decades enabled thousands of individuals, mainly from North America, to accompany the Salvadoran People in their ongoing struggle for peace rooted in justice and compassion.

Past CRISPAZ Peace Award recipients
  • 2009 Centro Monseñor Romero - UCA
  • 2010 Sr. Peggy O'Neill (C.A.P.)
  • 2011 Fr. Dean Brackley, S.J. (1946-2011)
  • 2012 CoMadres
  • 2013 COFAMIDE
  • 2014 ProBusqueda
  • 2015 Hospitalito (Carmelite Sisters at Divine Providence Hospital)
  • 2016 Fr. Tom Smolich, S.J. (Executive Director, JRS)
 Inspired by the testimony of the Martyrs of El Salvador, the CRISPAZ Peace Award, established in 2009, each year honors particular individuals or organization that embody the preferential option for the oppressed in their work for the promotion of peace and social justice. For more than three decades, CRISPAZ has enabled thousands of individuals, mainly from North America, to accompany the Salvadoran people in their ongoing struggle for peace rooted in justice and compassion.

For more information click here

Editorial Staff

Rafael Garcilazo, 
Communications Coordinator

Michael Lee,
Chair of Communications Committee

Francisco Mena,
Executive Director
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Ernesto Valiente
Vice Chair:
 Kelly Czajka
 Brian Rude
 Christopher Kerr

  Board Members  
Ann Bollheimer
Peter Buck
 Angela Casanova     
Colleen Cross 
Jennifer Collins Cevallos
Don Clarke
Paul Darilek
Rev. Dan Groody, CSC
Rev. Peter Hinde, O.Carm. 
Meg Hannigan Dominguez
Paul Knitter
Rev. Tim Kesicki, S.J.
Michael Lee
Carol Muntz
Peter Neeley, S.J.
Kent Newton
Ana Maria Pineda, RSM.
Rev. Kevin Quinn, S.J.
Marielos Tores
Austin Woody  
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An Interview with 
Fr. Paul Schindler
by: Rafael Garcilazo 
CRISPAZ visited Fr. Schindler at his home at the Immaculate Conception Parish in La Libertad in order to learn about his life, work and legacy in El Salvador.
 Fr. Paul Schindler grew up in Cleveland, Ohio with 8 brothers and sisters. Attended grade school at St. Charles and went to St. Ignatius Jesuit School. Later went to Borromeo College Seminary, and studied philosophy and theology at St. Mary Seminary. In 1967 Fr. Schindler was ordained in Cleveland and his first assignment was in the parish of Wadsworth, Ohio, where he remained for 5 years. After this he was sent to El Salvador. His first stint in the Central American country was from 1972 to 1982. He then returned to Cleveland where he served as a Pastor for 26 years. Retirement could not keep him from returning to his beloved El Salvador, and has been here since 2008. 

When you were first assigned to El Salvador, what did you know of this country and what were your expectations?

 I had no clue (chuckles). I grew up with a sense of mission. My family always used to receive Mission Magazine, and I used to read them all the time growing up. I thought about going to the missions even though I was a diocesan priest. Pope John the XXIII asked the church of the United States to send their clergy to the third world, and Cleveland picked El Salvador. 
 Back in 1964, the Archdiocese started in La Union, then in Chirilagua, and then eventually came down here to La Libertad. We were in 3 different parishes.
 I got a letter after my first assignment which was like 5 years, saying that they needed people to work in El Salvador, "Your name has been suggested, are you interested?" And I said: Here I am Lord. So that's how I ended up in El Salvador. But I had no idea.
 We would come down on a pre-visit, to see what it was like, and it was overwhelming of course. Then I came down to work. I knew no Spanish at all when I came down here. I learned it with the kids. I would go out for a walk and talk to them. The kids are great teachers because they would laugh at you when you make errors. So you learn Spanish, the caliche (slang), and all that other kind of stuff that goes along with it. 
 When I was assigned here, I was a young priest. The priest that was here at the time was going back to the States. So after a year, I was named Pastor here in La Libertad. I worked with the sisters Dorothy, Jean, Ita, and Maura. Dorothy, Jean and I worked here together. We did a lot of stuff. 
 That was all part of my stay here in El Salvador during the 70's. The sisters were killed in 1980, and I left here in 1982. On every vacation I had, I would come back here and help out--give the guys a break. When you are here and you see the mass schedule, we give 3 or 4 masses every day each of us.

Something Good Has Happened

By Jon Sobrino S.J.
Translated from Cartas a las Iglesias June 2017

What can I say these days regarding the appointment of Gregorio Rosa Chavez to the office of Cardinal?
 I write on the morning of July 4th when Goyo Rosa, as I have always called him, has just returned to the country. He returns to his land and to his people. In the airport, he said that Pope Francis is very concerned that the church, and country, of El Salvador make some radical advances. The Pope has also stated that with this appointment to cardinal, an injustice of many years has finally been corrected. As for the newly appointed cardinal, without resting from his long trip, he immediately made his way to the cathedral in order to be in the crypt with Archbishop Romero. Thus far, it is his fundamental word.

 We have seen many photos and comments from many people in the newspapers. The overwhelming majority of them are joyful and insist that justice has finally come for Monsignor Rosa Chavez after being neglected for so many years. What is bad is not that they have barred Goyo from advancing a career, which would not be ideal for any christian and much less a bishop. However it has been unjust to ignore his Christian and humane service of many years. In this sense, the Pope surprises us once again. 
 This week alone he fired two important Roman cardinals, Gerhard 
Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and George Pell, responsible for the Vatican finances- they both interfered with the Vatican reforms. At the same time, the Pope surprises us with the unexpected appointment. He appoints to cardinal an auxiliary bishop of a country that has never even had a cardinal.
Monsignor Romero and Liberation Theology
By: Michael Lee

 On the difficult road to Oscar Romero's beatification, the question about his relationship to liberation theology was always a concern in Vatican circles. When the postulator for Romero's cause, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, announced that the long-delayed process had been "unblocked," many attributed it to the newly-elected Pope Francis, a Latin American whose emphasis has been a church "that is poor and for the poor." However, subsequently, Paglia claimed that it was Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, who removed the final hurdle in the process.
 That Benedict, a long-time critic of liberation theology, would approve of Romero's beatification after so many years came as a surprise.  After all, it was as Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), that he wrote the most stinging critique of liberation theology, Libertatis nuntius (1984). He had silenced Leonardo Boff and investigated a number of other liberation theologians. If Benedict supported Romero's sainthood, it must have been a significant change in his thinking. Or was it? Benedict, even as pope-emeritus, has never indicated any softening of his position on liberation theology. So, if Benedict did not change, perhaps it was Romero-or at least the presentation of Romero-that was modified in order to make him more palatable to an audience skeptical about liberation theology.
 Scholarship on the Catholic church in El Salvador prior to the civil war has identified Archbishop Romero with what Peterson calls the "progressive Catholicism" that emerged from the post-Vatican II and Medellín pastoral and theological initiatives encouraged by Romero's predecessor Luis Chavez y Gonzalez. Initially, Romero did not demonstrate an affinity for this progressive Catholicism in his years as auxiliary bishop in San Salvador (1970-1974) or bishop of Santiago de María (1974-1977). However, Passionist priests who worked with Romero have argued that the latter period begins a process of transformation that, with Romero's elevation to Archbishop and the murder of Rutilio Grande, sees him become the leading advocate and defender of a church that had begun to experience the brunt of repressive violence. 

2017 Delegations

CRISPAZ would like to express our deepest gratitude to the delegations that have visited El Salvador through the CRISPAZ Encounter Program thus far in 2017.

Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY

University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
St. John the Baptist Parish, Cincinnati, OH
St. Mary's Student Parish at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Boston College STM, Boston, MD

University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville , KY
University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
High Schools of Cincinnati:
Archbishop Moeller H.S. | St. Ursula Academy 
  Mt. Notre Dame H.S. | Ursuline Academy
St. Ignatius College Prep, San Francisco, CA

University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy, Detroit, MI
Clemson United Methodist Church, Clemson, SC
Archbishop Moeller High School, Cincinnati, OH
Santa Clara University, (Staff & Faculty) Santa Clara, CA
On behalf of the many people and organizations we accompany,