Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Greetings!

Welcome to the second issue of the new justice blog!

In the last issue, the focus was on Archbishop Oscar Romero. This issue focuses on the local labor activist and founder of the United Farmworkers Union, Cesar Chavez and also on Sister Dorothy Stang who was killed in February for her work on behalf of farmers in the Amazon area of Brazil. Both are examples of selfless dedication to the poor and vulnerable.

We are blessed to have in this newsletter a recollection from Monsignor Gene Boyle of his experiences with Cesar and with the Farmworkers' Movement during the early days. Monsignor Boyle is a retired priest of the Diocese and current member of the Diocesan Human Concerns Commission. He is a tireless advocate for the poor and vulnerable. Although he gave me permission to edit his account, I have chosen to leave it in its full form. I hope that you will read it as a tribute to Cesar Chavez on the celebration of his birthday on March 31.

Si Se Puede!

Linda Batton, Associate for Evangelization, Justice, & Peace

In this issue...

CRS/Indonesia Earthquake Update

MEDAN, Indonesia, March 28, 2005 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) staff, including the agency’s president and two members of the board of directors, are beginning assessments of damage that has been cause by the most recent earthquakes that struck off the coast of Indonesia earlier today.

CRS President Ken Hackett as well as Bishop Robert Lynch, president of the board of directors and bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Dr. Carolyn Woo, Dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, have been in Indonesia since March 24 to assess the agency’s response to the December tsunami and reconstruction efforts. They were in Medan when the earthquake hit earlier today.

All 150 staff in Aceh Province have been accounted for after personnel evacuated CRS offices, staff housing and hotels in the three areas where the agency has been operating since the tsunami struck in December: Banda Aceh, Meulaboh and Medan.

Electricity has been cut and the extent of damage is still uncertain. There have been reports of deaths on the Island of Nias, where CRS is working with partners, but fuller assessments both on the island as well as through Aceh Province will begin in the next few hours with daylight.

The recent quakes have taken an emotional toll on those who survived the catastrophic tsunami in December. Even in Sri Lanka, where the quake did not register, people in the coastal areas evacuated to camps CRS had initially set up in the aftermath of the tsunami.

CRS so far has received more than $126 million in donations, allowing the agency to expand original program plans to $150 million. The agency’s response to the Dec. 26 tsunami is concentrated in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. CRS continues to be a leading agency in both the emergency and recovery phases of the tsunami response.

Working closely with governments, international agencies and other private voluntary organizations, CRS is providing a range of short- and long-term programs to improve the lives of people affected by the tsunami. Key activities include providing short-term and long-term shelter; revitalizing market structures; strengthening the operations of local humanitarian organization partners; repairing and rebuilding infrastructure such as bridges, schools and community buildings; trauma recovery; reestablishing occupations and livelihoods; and building programs to protect vulnerable children and women from all forms of exploitation. For more information on recovery efforts, go to

Upcoming Events- April 2005 and Beyond

Friday, April 1, 2005
Symposium: "Human Rights and Human Responsibility," 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Music Recital Hall, Santa Clara University - Sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the InterAction Council as part of the William P. Laughlin Lectures on Global Leadership and Ethics. Speakers include Hans Kung, president of the Global Ethic Foundation, Germany. Seating is limited. RSVP to Audrey Vowell at or (408) 554-7893.

Saturday, April 2, 2005
A Memorial Mass for Sister Dorothy Stang, 1:30 pm, Cunningham Chapel at Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont. Please call or notify Sr. Ann Carmel as soon as possible if you will be attending at or (650) 593-2045 x221.

Saturday, April 2, 2005
"Carry the Vision: Building a Culture of Peace in Our Families, Our Community, and Our World," A Peace Conference for A Season for Nonviolence, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Evergreen Valley College, 3095 Yerba Buena Road, San Jose. This community conference will provide the context, inspiration, tools, and support for individuals and groups to discover resources for building a culture of peace in three critical areas: family life, local community, and global community. Keynote speaker will be Dolores Huerta, prominent civil rights leader and co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers. Includes workshops, music, food, inspiring speakers, a peace assembly, and closing ceremonies with peace prayer flags. For more information or to register, visit the website at or call (408) 277-5242.

Thursday, April 7 - May 12, 2005
Faith in Action Training Series (FIATS), 6:30 - 9:00 pm, 2101 Almaden Road, #107, San Jose - Sponsored by The Interfaith Council on Religion, Race, Economic & Social Justice. Participants will learn about social justice issues in the local community and the political landscape and power structure of the valley. They will reflect on what a faithful and strategic response to injustices might be. They will build their skills to be a more effective leader and to engage congregations on issues of economic and social justice. For information and nomination forms, contact Rev. Carol Been at (408) 269-7872 x577.

Sunday, April 10, 2005
"Direct from Baghdad, the City the Dreams of Death," 7:30 pm, Spangenberg Theatre, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. A talk by Robert Fisk, the award-winning Middle East correspondent for The Independent of London. Robert Fisk has received the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times. His speciality is the Middle East where he has spent the last twenty-three years. He is one of the few independent, unembedded reporters in Baghdad. Tickets are $10 - $20 on a sliding scale. A benefit for the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center. Order tickets online at

Monday, April 11, 2005
Planning and Preparation Meeting for Catholic Lobby Day, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, Diocese of San Jose, 900 Lafayette Street, Santa Clara, 3rd Floor, St. Joseph Conference Room. A meeting for those who will be attending Catholic Lobby Day on April 26, 2005. Pizza will be provided. RSVP to Sylvia at or by phone to (408) 983-0128.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"The Road to Solidarity" Introductory Meeting, 7:00 - 8:00 pm, Diocese of San Jose, 900 Lafayette Street, Santa Clara, 3rd Floor, St. Joseph Conference Room. All interested in participating or knowing more about this 8-day immersion program to El Salvador on June 11-19, 2005 must attend this meeting. This program is sponsored by Catholic Relief Services. Just Faith participants and alumni will be given priority.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"Brown Bag" Workshop on Advance Directives for Chancery Staff and Guests, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Diocese of San Jose, 3rd Floor, St. Joseph Conference Room. CODA Alliance will offer a practical workshop on making advance care decisions.

Thursday, April 14 - Saturday, April 16, 2005
"Crossing the Borders of Trade," Tucson, Arizona, Clarion Santa Rita Hotel - A leadership conference on trade agreements jointly sponsored by The Roundtable, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference as well as the Dioceses of Tucson, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. The program includes a day trip to Nogales, Mexico. The Diocese of San Jose will be sending a delegation. Others are welcome. See for more information and a registration form.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

"Privilege and Risk: Oscar Romero and the Choices We Face," Potluck Supper at 6:00 pm followed by talk at 7:00 pm, St. Athanasius Parish Hall, 160 N. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View. Twenty-five years after the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero - have we learned anything from his life and his martyrdom? A talk by Prof. Robert Jensen of the University of Texas. Sponsored by the St. Athanasius Justice and Peace Group and Stanford Pax Christi. Please RSVP by calling Mike Cavera at (650) 967-7939.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Just Faith "Lite" - For the Northwest Deanery. A ten week program of Just Faith will begin on April 19 at St. Mary's Church, 219 Bean Avenue, Los Gatos. To sign up or learn more, call Jane Ferguson at (408) 354-4061 ext. 123.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Henri Nouwen Film Screening, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, 1522 McCoy Ave., San Jose. Take time to nourish your soul at an exclusive screening of "Journey of the Heart," a film that paints an in-depth portrait of Henri Nouwen, one of the most significant spiritual leaders of our time. Narrated by Susan Sarandon. Reserve your spot by sending an email to

Friday, April 22, 2005

Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) Community Heroes Awards Luncheon, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, Computer History Museum, 1401 North Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. Senator Jackie Speier will give the keynote address and be honored as PIA's public sector community hero. Congregations from Daly City to Sunnyvale will recognize their local community heros. Suggested ticket price $100. For more information contact Lisa Hicks-Dumanske at (650) 592-9181 x12 or email at

Weekend of April 23-24, 2005

The Catholic Home Missions Appeal - "Support the Church at Home." This annual national collection supports mission dioceses within the United States.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Catholic Lobby Day, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street, Sacramento - The 7th annual Catholic Lobby Day is hosted by the California Catholic Conference. Catholics from throughout the state gather at the Capitol to speak on behalf of those who are poor, vulnerable, or voiceless. The day includes Mass, a march to the Capitol, a rally on the Capitol steps, lunch and legislative visits. A planning and preparation meeting will be held at the Diocese on April 11 at 5:30 pm for those attending Lobby Day. To register for Catholic Lobby Day, contact Sylvia at or by phone at (408) 983-0128. $5 cost. RSVP for the April 11 meeting also to Sylvia.

Mark Your Calendars for Future Events:

May 4, 2005

Mass for World Peace, 7:30 pm, St. Athanasius Church, 160 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View. Sponsored by the St. Athanasius Justice and Peace Group.

May 26, 2005

"What Ever Happened to Joy?: Celebrating the Year of the Eucharist," A Day of Prayer for Catechetical, Liturgical, Youth Ministry, and Social Justice Leaders, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Presentation Center, 19480 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos. Timothy Muller will be the presenter.

June 7, 2005

Parish Social Justice Liaison Breakfast Meeting, 7:30 - 9:00 am, St. Clare Parish Hall, 941 Lexington Avenue, Santa Clara.

June 11 -19, 2005

"The Road to Solidarity" - Catholic Relief Services will be sponsoring a delegation from the Diocese of San Jose to travel to El Salvador. This immersion program includes four educational pre-trip sessions. Preference will be given to Just Faith participants and alumni. Contact Joe Hastings at for additional information. An introductory meeting will be held on April 12, 2005 from 7:00 - 8:00 at the Diocese.

Note: For additional listings, see Socorro's List. To subscribe, email

Si Se Puede!

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Cesar E. Chavez
March 31, 1927 - April 23, 1993

"We can choose to live our lives for others to bring about a better and more just world for our children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice. But if you give yourself totally to the non-violent struggle for peace and justice, you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never grow hungry and never be alone. And in giving yourself you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love."

Viva Cesar Chavez! Viva la Causa!

Note: Msgr. Boyle is a retired priest of the Diocese of San Jose, tireless advocate for the poor, and member of the Diocesan Human Concerns Commission. He has generously offered to share these recollections of his experiences with Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers' Movement.

by Monsignor Eugene Boyle

In 1962, Chavez began to organize farm workers in Delano. Almost from the beginning the church, encouraged by Cesar, was at his side supporting the movement in a variety of ways. First, the California Migrant Ministry of the Protestant church and, then, a number of Catholic priests joined the initial organizing efforts.

In the fall of 1965, quoting Pope Leo XIII, Chavez persuaded the members of his fledgling Farm Worker Association (FWA) to go out on strike against the grape growers. During its first days Chavez appealed to the strikebreakers through a bullhorn from a light aircraft flown over the fields by a priest pilot, the late Keith Kenny of Sacramento.

Veteran labor reporters for California's metropolitan newspapers predicted that the strike could not possibly be successful. The National Labor Relations Act excluded farm workers from protection in efforts to achieve collective bargaining. So it came down to a naked test of strength. How could the strength of impoverished farm workers compete with that of multimillion-dollar agribusiness? How long can a union adequately picket 10,000 acres?

In mid-December the quest for new and more effective directions produced a brilliant inspiration - a consumer boycott against the products of Schenley industries, one of the two largest Delano firms. Here again the realization of this truly inspired concept depended largely on the churches and their networks countrywide. NFWA representatives dispatched to most of the major cities in the country to organize and coordinate local boycott groups found their most hospitable reception in the churches.

The fruitful wedding of religious faith with the struggle to establish a viable union for farm workers was never so evident as in the march from Delano to Sacramento in Lent of 1966. It was Cesar Chavez's own idea: a march to the state capitol in Sacramento to petition Governor Pat Brown to do something about collective bargaining rights for farm workers. But it was more than a march; it was a peregrination, a religious pilgrimage, and a way of the cross of sacrifice and penitence. A barefoot campesino carrying a plain wooden cross and another carrying the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe marched in the lead.

It was during this march, when I connected with it for a day, that I first met Cesar. When I joined him he was walking with a cane, his feet burning with blisters, one of his legs severely swollen. I hesitated to disturb him. But he greeted me graciously, obviously pleased that a priest had linked with the march, his dark, fascinating eyes capturing me forever. He spoke of the pilgrimage as a way of spiritual training for himself and the other farm workers to prevail in the long, long struggle which by this time was all too evident.

On later reflection I saw the Spirit-driven Jesus of Luke's gospel steadfastly making his way to Jerusalem, consumed by compassion for the anguished he met on the way and expending his all to alleviate their pain.

On April 6, Wednesday of Holy Week, the march came to an abrupt halt as the participants stopped to applaud and cheer the good news that seemed heaven-sent: The major grower had agreed to recognize NFWA and to negotiate a contract covering all his field workers in the Delano area. On the following day, Holy Thursday, there was even more astounding news. Another major grower, infamous for his implacable opposition to farm unions, agreed to hold union elections.

At high noon on Easter Sunday, with the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the cross prominently displayed, the peregrination reached its triumphant conclusion at the state capitol in Sacramento. Ten thousand people gathered on the steps and the adjacent lawns in what can only be adequately described as a religious revival; praying and pledging continued support for the cause of justice for farm workers.

For the next two years, supported solely by the national grape boycott, Cesar Chavez and the NFWA settled into the grueling task of wresting from reluctant growers union representation elections, recognition and contract negotiations. Given the absence of labor law, the unconscionable intrusion of the Teamster Union into the fields and the union's commitment to nonviolence, the number of contracts the NFWA achieved was remarkable. But there were some major growers whose resistance was obdurate.

There came a time in early 1968 when Chavez feared he was in danger of losing a good part of the workers. Because if an apparent lack of progress after more than two years of striking, and a sudden increase in violence against the union, there were those who felt that the time had come to overcome violence by violence.

In the Lent of that year, to smother the rage smoldering in the ranks and to unify and redirect the workers to the nonviolent pursuit of justice, Chavez, inspired by the teaching, as he said, of Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi, went on a penitential fast which he observed for twenty-five days.

On the day he broke the fast, Chavez, too weak to do so himself, had an aide read a statement he had prepared. It was the gospel according to Cesar: "Our lives are really all that belong to us... only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men."

I was the principal concelebrant of the Mass the day Cesar broke his fast. Our sanctuary was a flatbed truck on the Forty Acres in Delano, the original headquarters of the union. I still have a photo of myself giving communion to Cesar and Bobbie Kennedy, who was assassinated just two months later.

At their meeting the following year (November 1969), two California bishops - Bishop Hugh Donohoe of Fresno and Archbishop (later Cardinal) Timothy Manning of Los Angeles - urged the conference to offer their services in some way as mediators between the farm workers and the growers. Before the meeting adjourned, the Bishops had formed the Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Farm Labor, which included both Californians.

The work of this committee successfully culminated in July of 1970 when the five-year-old grape boycott ended with the historic settlement between the United Farmworkers of America-Afl-CIO and twenty-six grape growers of the San Joaquin Valley. This settlement, together with other agreements in the southern part of the State, brought more than three-quarters of the state's table grape harvest under the collective-bargaining umbrella of the UFW.

Unfortunately, this victory was short-lived. In April of 1973, when the original contracts between the UFW and the growers expired and were up for re-negotiation, the Teamsters Union signed contracts with thirty of the growers without ever meeting with the farm workers they claimed to represent. The battle was again enjoined.

During this crisis, too, the contributions of the Bishop's Committee and other church members to the efforts of the UFW to regain their contracts proved invaluable. Ultimately, for all their money and power the Teamsters could not stand up to the impoverished but inspired and selfless members and officers of the UFW - and their friends. On this occasion the bishops explicitly endorsed both the table grape and lettuce boycott.

In November 1974 the Catholic Bishops of the United States again acknowledged the seriousness of the farm labor problem and reiterated their belief that the urgency for its solution is as grave as ever. "It is a national scandal that at both the federal and state levels sufficient pressure is not being brought to bear on legislators to pass legislation that will be just to all parties. That legislation must assure the farm workers the right to elections by a secret ballot of a union of their own choice."

In November of 1975 the Bishops of the United States issued a different kind of Resolution on Farm Labor. It was an unqualified commendation of Governor Edmond G. Brown, Jr., the state legislature and all others involved for the enactment into law of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act. "This is the first law ever enacted in any jurisdiction, federal or state, guaranteeing farm workers the right to determine, by secret ballot elections, which union, if any, they want to represent them."

"We call upon all concerned - state officials, growers and union representatives - to cooperate with one another in implementing the spirit as well as the letter of the law.

"It would be a tragedy if the purpose of the law, which holds out such promise for the future of sound labor relations in the agricultural industry, were to be thwarted in practice, for whatever reason."

Within a year of its passage the growers, aided and abetted by a state administration unfriendly to the union aspirations of farm, workers, waged a campaign to "thwart in practice" the legislation. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board, established by the law to oversee its implementation, is practically non-functional. The ALRA, originally intended to assist the collective bargaining endeavors of farm workers, has instead, by its one-sided administration, crippled these efforts to this day.

The United Farm Workers Union - AFL-CIO (UFW/AFL-CIO) is an authentic, American labor union, successfully organizing thousands of farm workers. But, as even its opponents attest, it has always been more than that. Initially led by the Spirit-filled person of Cesar Chavez, and now by his like-spirited successor, Arturo Rodriquez, it has also been, and still is, a movement of total compassion and concern for the exploited farm worker.

The funeral of Cesar Chavez was an overwhelming experience that has no other explanation than the power of the spirit of this great man now unbound. Over 35,000 people were drawn to Delano to form a four mile procession (read: pilgrimage) led by the body of Cesar carried on the shoulders of farm workers and supporters up the rural Garces Highway to the Forty-Acres, the original headquarters of the union.

There a Mass of the Resurrection, at which I was a concelebrant, was celebrated, sacramentally validating the truth of our experience - the spirit of Cesar Chavez lives and will continue to inspire the movement and labor union he founded. Viva Cesar Chavez! Viva la Causa!

For additional information:
The Cesar E. Chavez Foundation
The United Farmworkers Union
"The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers' Movement," VHS, PBS Documentary Film, 1996, see also book based on the film by Susan Ferriss & Ricardo Sandoval, Harcourt, 1997.
"For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworkers," U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 2003

Oracion de Campensino en la Lucha - Prayer of the Farmworkers' Stuggle

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Oracion de Campensino
en la Lucha

Enséñame el sufrimiento de los más desafurtunados;
Así conoceré el dolor de mi pueblo.

Líbrame a orar por los demás;
Porque estás presente en cada persona.

Ayúdame a tomar responsabilidad de mi propia vida;
Sólo así sere libre al fin.

Concédeme valentía para servir al prójimo;
Porque en la entrega hay vida verdadera.

Concédeme honoradez y paciencia;
Para que yo pueda trabajar junto con otros

Alúmbranos con el canto y la celebración;
Para que levanten el Espíritu entre nosotros.

Que el Espíritu florezca y crezca;
Para que no nos cansemos entre la lucha.

Nos acordamos de los que han caído por la justicia;
Porque a nosotros han entregado la vida.

Ayúdanos a amar aún a los que nos odian;
Así podremos cambiar el mundo.

Escrito por César E. Chávez, Fundador de la UFW

Prayer of the Farmworkers’ Struggle

Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.

Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.

Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.

Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.

Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.

Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the Spirit will be alive among us.

Let the Spirit flourish and grow;
So we will never tire of the struggle.

Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.

Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.

Written by Cesar E. Chavez, UFW Founder

Parish Social Justice Liaisons Gather for Breakfast Meeting

Image hosted by On March 15, the Parish Social Justice Liaisons representing twenty-three parishes came together for a Breakfast Meeting at St. Clare Parish Hall.
Mr. Will Lightbourne, Director of Social Services for the County of Santa Clara gave a briefing on the local impact of cuts to the state budget for social services.

After sharing information on resources and opportunities for collaboration, liaisons met in deanery groups and stategized about what proposed future action they would take together. All decided to meet in deanery clusters outside of the quarterly diocesan convening of parish liaisons to work collaboratively. Key topics of concern included affordable housing, cuts in essential services and care for the elderly and vulnerable, and the need for continued education in parishes on Catholic Social Teaching.

To better fulfill the communication and Catholic Social Justice Teaching strategies of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, Renewing the Church, Parish Social Justice Liaisons are appointed by the pastor of each church. They are individuals who are committed to communicating information and social justice concerns from the parish community to the Human Concerns Commission of the Diocese of San Jose and to share diocesan information with their respective parish community.

"The Road to Solidarity" - An Immersion Experience to El Salvador to be Offered by CRS in June 2005

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is inviting Just Faith participants and alumni of the Diocese of San Jose to deepen their commitment to building solidarity in their parishes and faith communities by experiencing and learning from solidarity work in El Salvador. The program includes education classes, reflection, an eight-day immersion in El Salvador, and an action plan that each participant will create and implement for building global solidarity in their parish or faith community.

Participants will visit the significant sights of Romero's life, visit projects of CRS working with street gangs, human rights advocates, women's groups and farmers, and will worship in local parishes and meet with its base communities.

An introductory session will be held at the Diocese on Tuesday, April 12 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. All interested persons should plan to attend this meeting. Estimated costs are $500 for airfare and $450 for lodging, meals, and transportation. For an application or further information, contact Joe Hastings at (510) 524-8575 or by email at Applications will be accepted from all who are interested, but Just Faith participants will be given priority.

Statement on Terri Schiavo from the Diocese St. Petersburg, Florida

Bishop Robert N. Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida has issued a statement on Terri Schiavo. It offers both a pastoral response and an opportunity for prayerful reflection. It is also available in Spanish.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Layette Committee to be Honored at Volunteer Recognition Luncheon

The Layette Committee of the Office of Women of the Diocese of San Jose has been chosen as one of the outstanding volunteers to be honored at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at the San Jose Convention Center on Friday, April 22, 2005. This annual event attended by more than 900 community members is sponsored by the Junior League of San Jose to celebrate the important contributions made by volunteers in the community.

The Layette Committee was formed in 1955 by Helen Hansen. Each year, the committee hosts a Layette Celebration in December to collect layette donations for needy families. Over 400 layettes are distributed throughout the year through Public Health nurses. Each layette contains essential items for the first few months of an infant's life including diapers, blankets, onesies, booties, and other items.

For donations, contact Lucile Bianco at (408) 730-4672. All clothing must be new or clean and in good condition. Only sizes from 0-6 months are accepted.

Sr. Dorothy Stang, SND

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Sister Dorothy Stang, SND

June 7, 1931 - February 12, 2005

A woman has risen among us, a woman who fully embraced her call to St. Julie Billiart's preference for the poor in the most abandoned places, who chose to stand with poor people as they struggle for adequate means for human life and dignity.

Sister Dorothy Stang, SND Murdered in Brazil

“It was three shots at point-blank range,” reported Sr. Betsy Flynn, SND from Fortaleza, Brazil. "She received so many threats; I just never thought it would happen." The Brazilian Order of Lawyers, a nationwide lawyers group, had included Sr. Dorothy on a list of human rights workers who faced possible assassination.

Sr. Dorothy lived in Anapu, Para, a young county created by peasant farmers who migrated from the northeast of Brazil into the Amazon Forest following agrarian land reform. About 173,000 acres of the forest had been declared unproductive three years ago and was given to the farmers by Brazil’s National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform. The farmer’s organization, “Sem Terra” (Without Land), has 600 member families involved in the project. The land, which is rich in cedar and mahogany, is of interest to loggers and corporate landowners. Sr. Dorothy and the farm families had received death threats connected with their protection of the land.

BBC News reported early Sunday that Brazil’s Human Rights Minister Nilmario Miranda said two suspects in the case had already been identified and that putting those responsible behind bars was "a matter of honour" for the Brazilian government.

Another member of the Brazilian cabinet, Environment Minister Marina Silva, compared Sr. Dorothy's murder to the killing of trade union leader Chico Mendes, a campaigner for the rainforest whose death in 1988 sparked worldwide outrage.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has sent ministers and police teams to the area to investigate the murder. The early morning attack came less than a week after Sr. Dorothy met Secretary Miranda to report that four local farmers had received death threats from loggers and landowners.

Sr. Dorothy, who was from Ohio, received an “Honorary Citizenship of the State” from the state of Para, Brazil earlier this year.

In August, 2004, Sr. Dorothy spoke about the danger associated with her work. “It is not my safety but that of the people that really matters,” she said. “All of the Sisters of Notre Dame working in Brazil work very closely with our people and want to be a sign of hope. It is wonderful to be a part of this struggle and this is the contribution of Notre Dame.”
A memorial mass for Sister Dorothy will be celebrated on April 2, 2005 at 1:30 pm in the Cunningham Chapel at the Notre Dame de Namur campus in Belmont.

Suggestions for Action:

1. Fax or write the Brazil Ambassador to the United States, telling him you deplore the death of Sr. Dorothy Stang, and congratulate the government for setting aside land for the people. Ask that the government ensure prolonged federal protection for the poor farmers in Anapu faced with the anger of the powerful landowners and the loggers. Request that this case be investigated by the Federal police and judged by the Federal Court.
Address and Fax:
The Honorable Roberto Abdenur
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009-3634
Fax: 202-238-2827
2. The Sisters of Notre Dame are establishing a fund in memory of Sr. Dorothy. Gifts to the funds provide support for sisters continuing her work and for Sisters working in other countries of Latin America and Africa.
Sr. Dorothy Stang Fund
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
1520 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA 94002

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Welcome to the New Justice BLOG...

Welcome to the first issue of “Faith Doing Justice,” the online newsletter for the office of Evangelization, Justice and Peace for the Diocese of San Jose. I am learning both a new skill in creating this newsletter and a new language. This is actually a “blog” and I am now a “blogger.” Does that make you then a “blogeé?” I hope it will be useful to you in your work for justice and your personal reflections. It is a “work in progress,” so please let me know if you have any suggestions in the future.

It is providential that the twenty-fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero falls on Holy Thursday, the commemoration of Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist and during this year of the Eucharist. Archbishop Romero was killed while saying the Mass, his martyrdom the result of his taking the Gospel seriously. Few are called to a martyr’s death, but we are all called to take the Eucharist seriously…to become that which we receive, to pour ourselves out for others in the situations of our own lives. The events listing that follows offers many opportunities for involvement in a variety of issues in the community that you may wish to consider. Included also are a number of resources including information on the new "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" and links to major websites in the right-hand column.

This issue of “Faith Doing Justice” focuses on Archbishop Oscar Romero. A brief article outlining his last day is included. In June, Just Faith participants will have the opportunity to travel to El Salvador as part of an immersion program honoring Romero. Included also is “Via Crucis”, "The Way of the Cross," taken from Romero's own writings.

In this issue…

Upcoming Justice Events - March and April 2005

Friday & Saturday, March 11-12, 2005
Conference: “The Death Penalty Reconsidered”
Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, CA
-Friday, March 11
Marion Scherer’s One Woman Play, “Prison of the Mind,” 7:30 pm, Ralston Hall
-Saturday, March 12
Conference, 12:30 – 5:45 pm, Taube Conference Center; Includes Workshops on Victims’ Rights, Innocence and a Presentation on Opportunities for Action with representatives of groups working against the death penalty
-Saturday, March 12
Keynote by Sister Helen Prejean, 7:00-9:00 pm, NDNU Theater, Book Signing to Follow
Sponsors: Notre Dame de Namur University, California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty, Sisters of Notre Dame, and Amnesty International
Admission to all three events $25 ($15 for Seniors), Marion Scherer: $8/$5, Keynote Speaker: $8/$5. For more information, call (650) 508-3508.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Citizenship and Immigrant Pride Day, 9:00 am-2:00 pm, CET Center for Employment Training, 701 Vine Street, San Jose - At this free annual citizenship day, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Citizenship Collaborative, immigrants will learn about US citizenship, receive free assistance, and get an overview of the citizenship process. Orientations will take place in 19 languages. This event has been recognized as a nationwide best practice in working with immigrant communities and helping them access citizenship information and services.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
“Catholic Politicians in the Public Square”, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, University of San Francisco, McLaren Center, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco - "How does a Catholic politician integrate fidelity to the Magisterium, personal conscience, and responsibility to constituents in forming public policy today?" This conference is jointly sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the University of San Francisco. Speakers include Timothy J. Roemer, President of the Center for National Policy, member of the 9-11 Commission and a former six-term member of Congress from Indiana, John L. Carr, Secretary of the Department of Social Development and World Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and John Huebscher, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference. Admission is free. RSVP (415) 614-5567.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
"Health Care is an Economic Right," 10 am - 2 pm, UFCW Hall, 200 South Market Street, San Jose - A Health Care Conference to educate and organize grassroots leaders to build the movement for universal single payer health care. Co-sponsored by a coalition of organizations working on health care issues. Families welcome. Includes information tables, workshops, lunch, Spanish translation. For information, call (408) 295-4463.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Parish Social Justice Liaison Breakfast, 7:30-9:00 am
St. Clare Parish Hall, 941 Lexington Street, Santa Clara
Mr. Will Lightbourne, Director of Social Services of Santa Clara County and Former Director of Catholic Charities of San Francisco will brief parish liaisons on the potential impact of the proposed cuts in the state budget.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
"Surprised by God: Finding Grace Where You Least Expect It," 7:30 - 8:30 pm, Reception Following, Recital Hall, Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Clara University - A Lenten Reflection by Mark Ravizza, S.J., Director of Ignatian Centers, Santa Clara University. Co-Sponsored by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and The Bannan Center for Jesuit Education. For more information, contact Maureen Muscat (408) 325-5201 or

Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, 2005
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat - A healing and reconciliation retreat for those suffering from the emotional and spiritual effects of abortion. The location is not published to protect the privacy of participants. For more information, contact Sister Mary Peter McCusker, RSM at (408) 426-7343. The confidential warm-line for those seeking help after an abortion is 1 (888) HOPE 790.

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Journey to Justice Retreat, Downtown College Prep, 355 West San Fernando Street, San Jose - Just Faith participants from several parishes including Church of the Ascension, St. Athansius, St. John Vianney, St. Martin of Tours will attend a retreat and meet with representatives of local groups funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and working to empower the poor. To attend, participants should contact their parish coordinator.

Weekend of March 19-20, 2005
The Catholic Relief Services Collection - “Through the eyes of faith, the starving child, the believer in jail, and the woman without clean water or health care are not issues, but Jesus in disguise.” This national annual collection, formerly known as the American Bishops’ Overseas Appeal, supports four major Catholic Church organizations that carry out international solidarity and relief efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement services to victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters as well as development projects to improve the living conditions of the poor; advocacy on behalf of the powerless; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and legal and support services for poor immigrants. Materials including posters and envelopes in Spanish and English have been sent to parishes to support the collection and provide education.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
25th Anniversary of the Death of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Birthday of Cesar Chavez

Friday, April 1, 2005
Symposium: “Human Rights and Human Responsibility” 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Music Recital Hall, Santa Clara University - Sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the InterAction Council as part of the William P. Laughlin Lectures on Global Leadership and Ethics. Speakers include Hans Küng, president of the Global Ethic Foundation, Germany. Seating is limited. RSVP to Audrey Vowell at or (408) 554-7893

Thursday, April 7-May 12, 2005
Faith in Action Training Series, 6:30 – 9:00 pm, 2102 Almaden Road, #107, San Jose - Sponsored by The Interfaith Council on Religion, Race, Economic & Social Justice. Participants will learn about social justice issues in the local community and the political landscape and power structure of the valley. They will reflect on what a faithful and strategic response to injustices might be. They will build their skills to be a more effective leader and to engage congregations on issues of economic and social justice. For information, contact Rev. Carol Been at (408) 269-7872 x577

Thursday April 14 - Saturday, April 16, 2005
“Crossing the Borders of Trade”, Tucson, Arizona, Clarion Santa Rita Hotel - A leadership conference on trade agreements jointly sponsored by The Roundtable, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference as well as the Dioceses of Tucson, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Program includes a day trip to Nogales, Mexico. The Diocese of San Jose will be sending a delegation. See for more information and a registration form.

April 26, 2005
Catholic Lobby Day, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street, Sacramento - The 7th annual Catholic Lobby Day is hosted by the California Catholic Conference. Catholics from throughout the state gather at the Capitol to speak on behalf of those who are poor, vulnerable or voiceless. The day includes a rally, Mass, a march to the Capitol, lunch, and legislative visits. To register, contact Chris Stampolis at Cost $5. A briefing will be held prior to the event. The date and further information on the briefing will follow.

Mark Your Calendars for Future Events:

June 2005 – Specific Dates to be Determined
“Solidarity: The Living Witness of Oscar Romero" -
Plans are being finalized for a 7-day immersion program in El Salvador sponsored by Catholic Relief Services commemorating the 25th anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Priority will be given to Just Faith participants and alumni. Contact Linda Batton at for future notices.

Note: For additional listings, see Socorro’s List. To subscribe, email

"I Will Rise Again in the Salvadoran People"

Archbishop Oscar Romero
August 15, 1917 - March 24, 1980
"I must tell you, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If I am killed, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people."

Day of Infamy

Source: Maryknoll Magazine, March 2005

When Oscar Romero was named archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, his native El Salvador was embroiled in a civil war that would eventually claim 75,000 lives. Wealthy landowners, backed by the military and supported by U.S. foreign policy, were fighting a grassroots guerrilla movement. However, the military made little or no distinction between killing guerrilla fighters and peasants, the majority of whom were desperately poor. By publicly condemning the slaughter of innocent people, as well as a political system in which “a few have everything and the majority live in destitution,” Romero, like many priests, Sisters, and churchworkers, became targeted as an enemy of the state. What follows is an excerpt of “Romero: A Life” by James R. Brockman. It reports on Romero’s last day.

On the afternoon of March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romeo found Father Segundo Azcue at the old Jesuit house in Santa Tecla, El Salvador. “I want to feel clean in the Lord’s presence,” the prelate told his Jesuit confessor. The confession was brief.

Afterward, his close friend Salvador Barraza, a small-business man who often volunteered as the prelate’s chauffeur, drove the archbishop to Divine Providence Hospital in San Salvador. He left him there at half-past five.

An announcement had been published in the newspapers for the 6 p.m. Mass in the cancer hospital’s chapel. Some of Romero’s friends were unhappy with the publicity. The threats to his life were serious, especially following his homily heard on national radio the previous day. “No government,” he had told the congregation in the cathedral and his millions of radio listeners, “can prevail, much less so when it wants to impose its program through bloodshed and suffering.”

He went on, “I would like to appeal in a special way to the army’s enlisted men. … Brothers: you kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. … God’s law must prevail that says, ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. … I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!”

Romero was offering the Mass in the hospital chapel for the late Doña Sarita, mother of his friend Jorge Pinto, whose weekly newspaper, El Independiente, had been bombed less that two weeks before. It was a simple liturgy – for her family and relatives mostly. Sisters, nurses and patients from the hospital were also there.

Romero read the first lesson, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; “Christ is indeed raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” He led the people in Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd. … Though I walk in the valley of the shadow, I fear no evil.” The Gospel reading was John 12:23-26: “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains only a grain. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

In his short homily, Romero spoke of Sarita’s simple dedication to building the kingdom of God and the encouragement she gave to her children. “You just heard in the Gospel that one must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life. … Whoever out of love for Christ gives themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies – but only apparently. If it did not die, it would remain alone. Only in undoing itself does it produce the harvest.”

He exhorted all to follow Sarita’s example, each one undertaking the task in his or her own way, with hope, with faith, with love for God. “This holy Mass, this Eucharist, is an act of faith. With Christian faith we know that at this moment the wheaten host is changed into the body of the Lord, who offered himself for the world’s redemption, and in the chalice the wine is transformed into the blood that was the price of salvation. May this body immolated and this blood sacrificed for humans nourish us also, so that we may give our body and blood to suffering and to pain – like Christ, not for self, but to teach justice and peace to our people. So let us join together intimately in faith and hope at this moment of prayer for Doña Sarita and ourselves.”

At that moment, a shot rang out!

As the sound reverberated and Romero fell to the floor, shock and confusion struck those present. No one in the chapel saw the assassin, who fired through the chapel’s open rear door. (Outside a bystander reported seeing police cars covering the escape from the chapel of three men in a red car.) Several nuns and other people ran to Romero, and turned him onto his back. Romero was unconscious, gasping, blood pouring from his mouth and nose. The bullet had entered his left breast and lodged in his back. Fragments of the bullet scattered in his chest, causing heavy internal bleeding.

Blood was turning the violet vestment and white alb red as the people carried him from the chapel to a small truck outside. Down the drive, down the street, down the hill it went, five minutes, to the Policlínica Hospital. In the emergency room, he lay on a table, still gasping, strangling on his own blood, still unconscious, as the nun on emergency-room duty probed for a vein in his arm to start a transfusion. The veins had collapsed from lack of blood. In a few minutes he stopped gasping and was dead.

Jesuit Father James R. Brockman, a native of Cincinnati, served as a missioner in Peru and as director of Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. He died in 1999 at age 73.

For additional information: also

Via Crucis - The Way of the Cross

Source: "Monsenor Romero: El Pueblo Es Mi Profeta," Equipo de Educacion Maiz, 1994.

Vía Crucis

1. Jesús es condenado a muerte
Lucas 23: 1-2, 5-6

Dios que renuncia a su categoría , de Dios, deja la felicidad de su cielo y se viene a hacer hombre, hombre que no anda mencionando sus prerrogativas de Dios, hombre cualquiera -dice la Biblia hoy-, un hombre cualquiera; un hombre cualquiera que es amarrado por la autoridad de su tiempo, llevado a los tribunales, ajusticiado. Se me ocurre pensar cuando San Pablo dice: "un hombre cualquiera", esas figuras que ya estamos acostumbrados a ir viviendo en nuestros periódicos: el campesino esposado, el campesino torturado, el obrero a quien no se le reconocen sus derechos, un hombre cualquiera, así se quiso hacer Cristo... Marzo 19, 1978

2. Jesús carga su cruz
Juan 19: 16-17

Sentimos en el Cristo de la Semana Santa con su cruz a cuestas, que es el pueblo que va cargando también su cruz. Sentimos en el Cristo de los brazos abiertos y crucificados, al pueblo crucificado pero que desde Cristo, un pueblo que crucificado y humillado, encuentra su esperanza… Marzo 19, 1978

3. Jesús cae por primera vez
Marcos 8: 34

Cristo no es un ser insensible. Cristo es un hombre de carne y hueso, de nervios y músculos como nosotros. Un hombre que siente lo que siente alguien cuando lo lleva la Guardia Nacional y lo lleva a ese lugar de tortura... Abril 1, 1979

4. Jesús encuentra a su madre
Juan 19: 25-27

La liberación de Cristo, hermanos, es ternura, es amor, es la presencia de una madre bondadosa: María. Y María es el modelo de quienes colaboran con Cristo para la liberación de la tierra y la adquisición del cielo. María en su cántico de acción de gracias proclama las grandezas de Dios y también proclama que Dios desecha el orgullo de los poderosos y enaltece a los humildes… Marzo 24, 1978

5. Simón el Cirineo ayuda a Jesús a cargar la cruz Lucas 23:26

Lamentablemente, queridos hermanos, somos el producto de una educación espiritualista, individualista. Donde se nos enseñaba: procura salvar tu alma y no te importe lo demás. Como decíamos al que sufría: "Paciencia, que ya vendrá el cielo, aguanta". ¡No!, no puede ser eso, eso no es salvar, no es la salvación que Cristo trajo. La salvación que Cristo trae es la salvación de todas las esclavitudes que oprimen al hombre. Es necesario que el hombre que vive bajo de tantas opresiones y esclavitudes rompa las cadenas-el miedo que esclaviza los corazones; la enfermedad que oprime los cuerpos, la tristeza, la preocupación, el terror que oprime nuestra libertad y nuestra vida… Septiembre 9, 1979

6. Verónica limpia el rostro de Jesús
Mateo 26:27

Si viéramos que es Cristo el hombre necesitado, el hombre torturado, el hombre prisionero, el asesinado; y en cada figura de hombre, botadas tan indignamente por nuestros caminos, descubriéramos a ese Cristo botado, medalla de oro que recogeríamos con ternura y la besaríamos y no nos avergonzaríamos de él… Marzo 16, 1980

7. Jesús cae por segunda vez
Juan 12: 24

Aquí donde Cristo es carne que sufre, aquí donde Cristo es cosa, donde Cristo es persecución, donde Cristo es hombres que duermen en el campo porque no pueden dormir en su casa, donde Cristo es enfermedad que sufre por consecuencia de tantas intemperies y de tantos sufrimientos; aquí es Cristo con su cruz a cuestas, no meditado en una capilla junto al vía-crucis, sino vivido en el pueblo; es Cristo con su cruz camino del Calvario… Marzo 5, 1978

8. Jesús habla a las mujeres de Jerusalén
Lucas 23: 27-28

El que convive con el pobre, con el miserable, con el campesino y lo defiende y quiere como Cristo nuestro Señor predicar la liberación a los pobres, a los oprimidos, a los prisioneros, a los que sufren. Este es Cristo que está en medio de nosotros… Marzo 23, 1978

9. Jesús cae por tercera vez
Lucas 17, 1-2

¡No está vencido nadie aunque lo pongan bajo la bota de la opresión y de la represión, el que cree en Cristo, sabe que es un vencedor y que la victoria definitiva será de la verdad y de la justicia...! Marzo 23, 1980 (un día antes de su muerte)

¡Qué bien se identifica Cristo con el sufrimiento de nuestro pueblo! Así parecen clamar muchas cosas, muchos tugurios, muchos en las cárceles y en el sufrimiento, muchos hambrientos de justicia y de paz. "¿Dios mío, Dios mío, por qué me has abandonado?" No nos ha abandonado. Es la hora en que el Hijo de Dios va pasando con toda su carga de pecado por la obediencia que Dios le pide para poder perdonar esos pecados de la humanidad de donde derivan todas las injusticias, todos los egoísmos... Abril 8, 1979

10. Jesús es despojado de sus vestiduras
Juan 19: 23-24

Este es el compromiso de ser cristiano: seguir a Cristo en su encarnación y si Cristo es Dios majestuoso que se hace hombre humilde hasta la muerte de los esclavos en una cruz y vive con los pobres, así debe ser nuestra fe cristiana. El cristiano que no quiere vivir este compromiso de solidaridad con el pobre, no es digno de llamarse cristiano...
Cristo nos invita a no tenerle miedo a la persecución porque, créanlo hermanos, el que se compromete con los pobres tiene que correr el mismo destino de los pobres: ser desaparecido, ser torturados, ser capturados, aparecer cadáveres... Febrero 17, 1980

11. Jesús es clavado a la cruz
Marcos 15: 22-25

Roma crucificaba pero no a sus romanos, Roma crucificaba a los pueblos que dependían de su imperio; y como Palestina dependía de Roma -Pilatos era el representante de Roma en aquel pueblo oprimido- Cristo tiene que ser humillado como un ser que no merece ni siquiera ciudadanía… Marzo 19, 1978

12. Jesús muere en la cruz
Lucas 23: 44-46

Mientras miramos a Cristo clavado en la cruz nos invita la Sagrada Palabra a descifrar un misterio de actualidad. Si Cristo es el representante de todo el pueblo en sus dolores, en su humillación, en sus miembros acribillados con unos clavos en una cruz, tenemos que descubrir el sufrimiento de nuestro pueblo. Es nuestro pueblo torturado, es nuestro pueblo crucificado, escupido, humillado al que representa Jesucristo Nuestro Señor para darle a nuestra situación tan difícil un sentido de redención… Marzo 24, 1978

13. Jesús es bajado de la cruz
Marcos 15: 43-46

Maria es la expresión de la necesidad del pueblo Salvadoreño. Maria es la expresión de la angustia de quienes están en prisión. Maria es la tristeza de las madres quienes han perdido a sus hijos y nadie les dirá donde están. Maria es la ternura que busca con angustia una solución… Diciembre 24, 1978

14. Jesús es colocado en el sepulcro
Juan 19: 42

Porque no pensemos, hermanos, que nuestros muertos se han apartado de nosotros, su cielo, su recompensa eterna, los perfecciona en el amor, siguen amando las mismas causas por las cuales murieron, lo cual quiere decir que en El Salvador esta fuerza liberadora no sólo cuenta con los que van quedando vivos, sino que cuenta con todos aquellos que las han querido matar y que están más presentes que antes en este proceso del pueblo…

The Way of the Cross

1. Jesus is condemned to death
Luke 23: 1-2, 5-6

“This is a God who renounces his condition as God, coming down from the happiness of heaven to become a man, a man who doesn’t go around mentioning his prerogative as God—“any man,” says the bible today. “Any man” who is tied to the authority of his time and carried to the courts. When St. Paul says “any man,” it occurs to me to think of those people whom we are already accustomed to seeing in our newspapers: the handcuffed peasant, the tortured peasant, the laborer whose rights aren’t recognized. This is the “any man” whom Christ wanted to become.” March 19, 1978

2. Jesus carries his cross
John 19: 16-17

“We feel in the Christ of Holy Week, with the cross upon his shoulders, that his is the people who are also carrying their cross. We feel the people crucified in this Christ with the open arms crucified, but it is from this Christ that a people crucified and humiliated will encounter their hope.” March 19, 1978

3. Jesus falls the first time
Mark 8: 34

“Christ is not an insensitive man. Christ is a real person-of flesh and bones, nerves and muscles, just like us. He is a man who feels just like a person feels when he is carried away by the National Guard and taken to a place of torture.” April 1, 1979

4. Jesus meets his mother
John 19: 25-27

“Brothers, the liberation of Christ is tenderness; it’s love; it’s the presence of a loving mother, Mary. And Mary is the model of those who collaborate with Christ for the liberation of the earth and the acquisition of heaven. Mary, in her song of thanksgiving, proclaimed the greatness of God and also proclaims that God rejects the pride of the powerful and exalts the humble.” March 24, 1978

5. Simon, the Cyrene, helps Jesus carry the cross Luke 23:26

“Unfortunately, dear brothers, we are the product of an education which is spiritualistic and individualistic, where we are taught ‘to gain salvation of the spirit, don’t worry about others.’ Like we say to the suffering, ‘Have patience that you will get to heaven, endure!’ No! That can’t be. This isn’t salvation, not the salvation that Christ brought. The salvation that Christ brings is the salvation from all the slaveries that oppress people. It is necessary that people break the chains that bind them: starting with the many oppressions and slaveries, fears that enslave their hearts, illnesses that oppress their bodies, sadness, preoccupations, terrors that oppress their freedom and their life.” September 9, 1979

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Matthew 26:27

“If we could see that Christ is the needy persons, the tortured person, the prisoner, the murderer, the one thrown away with so much indignity on our roads. If we could discover in this rejected one Christ, we would treat this Christ as a medal of gold. We would pick him up with tenderness and kiss him. We would not feel ashamed of him.” March 16, 1980

7. Jesus falls the second time
John 12:24

“Here, Christ is flesh that suffers. Here where Christ is something, he is persecution, where Christ is men who sleep out in the country because they can’t sleep in their house, where Christ is sickness that suffers because of the consequences of being so unprotected. Here is Christ with the cross upon his shoulders on the road to Calvary, not meditated in some chapel with the way of the cross or lived outside the people.” March 5, 1978

8. Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem
Luke 23:27-28

“The one who lives with the poor, the miserable, the peasant and who defends them and loves them like Christ our Lord, and who preaches the liberation of the poor, of the oppressed, of the one who suffers, this one is Christ in our midst.” March 23, 1978

9. Jesus falls the third time
Luke 17: 1-2

“No one is vanquished even though he is put under the boot of oppression and repression. He who believes in Christ knows that he is victor and that the ultimate victory will be from truth and from justice” March 23, 1980—(the day before his death)

“How well Christ identified himself with the suffering of his people! Many shacks, many slums, many imprisoned by suffering, many hungry for justice and peace appear to clamor, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ He hasn’t abandoned us. This is the hour in which the Son of God is carrying all of the load of sins to obey God, asking him to pardon these sins of humanity from whom is derived all injustices, all selfishness.” April 8, 1979

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
John 19: 23-24

“This is the commitment of being a Christian: to follow Christ in his incarnation. And if Christ is a majestic God who becomes a humble man and lives with the poor until the death of slaves on a cross, our Christian faith should be lived in the same fashion. This Christian who doesn’t want to live with this commitment of solidarity with the poor doesn’t deserve to call himself a Christian. Christ invites us not to fear persecution because, believe it brothers, the one who binds himself with the poor has to go trough the same destiny as the poor: to be disappeared, to be tortured, to be captured to appear as dead.” February 17, 1980

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
Mark 15: 22-25

“Rome used to crucify people, but not Roman citizens. Rome used to crucify the people that depended on their empire. And since Palestine depended on Rome (Pilate was the representative of Rome to this oppressed people), Christ had to be humiliated like someone who didn’t merit citizenship.” March 19, 1978

12. Jesus dies on the cross
Luke 23: 44-46

“While we look at Christ nailed to the cross, he invites us to discern from the sacred word a real mystery. If Christ is the representative for all people, we have to discover the suffering of our people in his suffering, his humiliation, his body scarred by the nails of the cross. This is our people tortured, crucified, spat upon, and humiliated from whom Christ our Lord is represented in order to give our very difficult situation a sense of redemption.” March 24, 1978

13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
Mark 15: 43-46

“Mary is the expression of the need of the Salvadorian people. Mary is the expression of the anguish of those who are in prison. Mary is the sadness of the mothers who have lost their children and no one will tell them where they are. Mary is the tenderness that looks with anguish for a solution.” December 24, 1978

14. Jesus is buried in the tomb
John 19: 42

“Don’t think, brothers, that our dead have left us. Their heaven, their eternal recompense, makes them more perfect in love. They are still loving the same causes that they died for. That means that in El Salvador this liberating force not only counts those who remain living, but also counts those who they wanted to kill who are more present than before in the people.” March 2, 1980

"Solidarity: The Living Witness of Oscar Romero" - Immersion Program for Just Faith Participants

A 7-day immersion program in El Salvador with Catholic Relief Services commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero is planned in June for Just Faith participants and alumni from the Diocese of San Jose. The dates in June are being determined and a further announcement will be forthcoming.
The program will include several preparatory sessions and meetings following the trip to plan follow-up activities to promote global solidarity.
For more information, contact Joe Hastings at (510) 524-8575 or

Sunday, March 06, 2005

New Resource - Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church will be available soon through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is intended to be used as a resource for leaders of social ministry at the diocesan and parish level as well as those in religious education, school, and youth and young adult ministry. It is divided into five sections, an introduction, three parts, and a conclusion entitled "For a Civilization of Love." It can be ordered through USCCB Publishing via internet at or by phone at (800) 235-8722. $24.95/each. According to some reviewers, it is best used as a reference tool; not an easy read, but useful to have all the information in one place.

The Annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

The Annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, "The Church in the Modern World - Founded on Truth, Built on Justice, Animated by Love" met this year on February 18 - 23, 2005.
The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is the annual coming together of social justice ministry leadership from national Catholic organizations and offices, dioceses, and parishes around the nation. Held in Washington, DC, the meeting includes prayer and celebration, challenging speakers, and social ministry skill workshops. In addition participants receive detailed briefings on priority social and economic justice issues concerning the poor and vulnerable, and carry a common Catholic message to Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill.
Each February, Catholics throughout the country come to Washington, DC to speak on behalf of the poor and forgotten at home and around the world. This year, the focus will be on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II document, The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes). Attending for the Diocese of San Jose were Terrie Iacino, Episcopal Director of Pastoral Ministry and Linda Batton, Associate for Evangelization, Justice, and Peace.

Copies of the February briefing papers and extensive information on the key domestic and international issues presented to legislators is available online at