Tony’s El Salvador Pilgrimage: More Unbelievable Truths

Wednesday 13th November


This morning we are accompanied by the Tutela legal team to visit the Monument to Memory and Truth, which displays the name of over 25000 people who were killed or disappeared during the repression of the 1970’s, and the civil war from 1980 to 1992. Included in these names is Archbishop Romero’s close friend Rutilio Grande SJ.


We lay flowers in memory of the Martyrs. We also learn of the disturbing news that the current Archbishop of San Salvador has closed down the Human rights office and dismissed the whole Tutela legal team, without proper explanation.
The Human rights organisation have files on the perpetrators of many crimes against humanity by the military who have never been brought to justice. Some of whom are in exile in the USA.


We are now to move on the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador where Archbishop Romero delivered his weekly sermons to the nation. It is also the sight of his funeral and where he is buried in the downstairs Crypt.
Our Pilgrimage is now in the Crypt and we are praying at the tomb of Oscar Romero. We sing a hymn. One of the group reads the following reading attributed to Romero.

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

The Tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero

We finish by joining hands and saying the Glory Be to the Father together.
I left there a card , on which were CAFOD volunteers’ prayers of solidarity and hope for the people of El Salvador.

Arbol de Dios Handicraft shop

The  afternoon finishes with a visit to Arbol de Dios Handicraft shop, the craft shop that make the Romero Crosses.

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