Memory and Hope

Recuerdo y Esperanza

A Lunctime Prayer Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the UCA Martyrdom

By Grayson Roach and the Fall 2014 All Things Ignatian Class

In the name of the Father, Son, HS…

Celina Ramos, Celina Ramos, Celina, Celina, your name is Celina and you’re walking down the street. Your footsteps are drowned out by the buzz of the crowd. Its hot out and you’re sweating. Your dress sticks to your body but the breeze feels cool against your skin. You’re holding his hand and his hand is warm and dry. In his hand you feel the future, and love, young simple love that feels like eternity without knowing anything about it. You arrive where you part, and you turn to him and you aren’t scared. In his face you can swear you see the future, see future children, see a whole life laid out in the form of his face. He says something sweet and you blush.

You walk into the house and see your mother and she whisks you to the table where you set down to your school work, which you start and the hours slide by almost unnoticed, except for the figure of your mother flickering in and out of your vision as she moves through the house. The room grows dark and you realize you’re tired. She grabs up your things and you dress for bed and lie down next to her and slip into sleep.

You wake up to loud banging and your mother’s terrified grip on your arm. There is screaming and yelling and now you are terrified. You clutch at your mother as the thundering noise grows louder and then it’s banging down the door. Your mom screams and embraces you. You don’t know if you’re screaming or not but there are more loud bangs and your mother leaking something wet now and you realize for the first time that you’re going to die but you don’t feel it. You think of all the things that you would do, could do. You see a whole life in front of you it’s being erased. You wonder why? Have you done something to deserve this? No. Why is your life erased now? And then you accept it and now you understand what eternity means. Your mother is still on top of you, bleeding, and her blood mingles with your blood. She becomes earth and the bed beneath you becomes earth and now the blood of you both seeps into the earth where it crystalizes but still grows deeper like roots. And now you ascend. Your face breaks through the surface and the sun shines on your yellow face as you blossom into the world again, newer, again. The sun shines on your yellow warm face and even though you can’t see her, your mother is there beside you, yellow as well and the sun shines on both of your yellow faces on that day, and this day, and the one after.

The Salvadoran Martyrs Mass took place on Loyola University Chicago's Lake Shore Campus on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Madonna Della Strada Chapel with presider, Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J. and homilist Fr. Kevin Flaherty, S.J.

The Salvadoran Martyrs (photo cred: UMC)

Memory and Hope. We remember and relate to Celina Ramos most of all.  As a young woman ignited with the desire to learn and love—she was engaged to be married—we see ourselves inscribed in her.

We hope to honor her by cherishing the blessings of education and relationships—and by cultivating our gifts to work towards a more just world. Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope We remember Fr. Joaquín López y López, the only native Salvadoran of the six Jesuits. We remember Lolo’s commitment to the education of his people with the lasting legacy of UCA and Fe y Alegría.

We hope to share in his passionate dedication and commit ourselves to the education of all our sisters and brothers, especially the poor and marginalized. Recuerdo  y Esperanza.

Memory and Hope We remember Segundo Montes-Mozo. His nickname “Zeus” captures the passion and the strength of his thought and speech; his jovial presence showed the love he had for all the community.

We hope that his words will continue to inspire all people to act with courage in the face of adversity—so that, like Zeus, we too may hurl thunderbolts, but hurl them at injustice, ill-will, and social sin. Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope.  We remember Ignacio Ellacuría, a great scholar and fearless leader in the face of oppression, who challenged us to be a community that fosters imagination to transform the world.

We hope to carry on Fr. Ellacuría’s legacy, in the effecting of Loyola Chicago’s mission: to address the “complex social ills of our time.” Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope. We remember Ignacio Martín-Baró for his words of wisdom: “There are truths that can only be discovered through suffering or from the critical vantage point of extreme situations.”

We hope, in the spirit of Padre Nacho, that we may actively seek the truth in our lives in order to liberate ourselves and others from injustices in this world. Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope. We remember Juan Ramon Moreno-Pardo for his care of the written word. His quiet passion as librarian watered the soil that bloomed into a social gospel.

We hope that Fr. Juan will inspire us to be creative with our talents, to work and never count the cost, and to make our passions a rhyme with God’s passion.  Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope. We remember Amando Lopez-Quintana, one of God’s master gardeners. Not only did he oversee the growth of UCA—buildings, grounds, and vegetable gardens—but   Padre Amando also was an advocate for a nationwide literacy campaign in El Salvador, a program that taught hundreds of thousands how to read.

We hope that we learn to be better readers so that we too can be virtuoso gardeners in the terrain of God’s beautiful peoples and lands. Recuerdo  y Esperanza

Memory and Hope. We remember Julia Elba Ramos for her vivacious spirit, her laughter, and her bountiful love.  She was mother not only to her four children, but to the young Jesuit scholastics and the students who studied at UCA as well. We are forever moved that her final act was that of protecting her daughter from bullets.

As a model of maternal love, we hope that her memory inspires us to love and appreciate those who have nurtured and guided us in our lives. Recuerdo  y Esperanza

A panel of experts including Robert Lassalle-Klein, PhD, left, from Holy Names University discussed ÒMemory and Hope: The Salvadoran Martyrs, Prophetic Witness, and the Future of Jesuit Higher EducationÓ with responses from Jon Sobrino, S.J. (center) in the Information Commons on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus, Friday, November 21, 2014. (photo by Natalie Battaglia)

A panel of experts including Robert Lassalle-Klein, PhD, left, from Holy Names University discussed Memory and Hope: The Salvadoran Martyrs, Prophetic Witness, and the Future of Jesuit Higher Education with responses from Jon Sobrino, S.J. (center). (photo by Natalie Battaglia)

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