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  • Photo Kailey McDonald

    May 29, 2015

    Celebrating the Lives of the Jesuit Martyrs

    Members of the Le Moyne community joined their peers from Jesuit colleges and universities around the world in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuits at the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador. The men, along with their housekeeper and her daughter, were killed by members of the Salvadoran Army during the nation’s civil war.

    A weeklong series of events was held to celebrate the lives of the martyrs.

    First, there was a moving exhibit of paintings by artist Mary Pimmel-Freeman depicting the deceased. Pimmel-Freeman also spoke about the martyrs, how they are depicted in her work, and how they impacted her spiritually. There was also a staging of Ernest Ferlita’s The Witness, a dramatization of true events that occurred during the Salvadoran civil war, centering on the murders.

    In addition, Bruce Erickson, associate professor of history, gave a lecture that focused on what inspired the Jesuit martyrs and Korleen Brady ’14 and Kailey McDonald ’15, discussed their work in El Salvador as part of the John Ben Snow Foundation-Le Moyne College Honors Global Internship program.

    “Being in El Salvador and learning from the people there helped me to think critically about human rights, the world, and what we can do to help other people,” Brady said. “It confirmed my ideas about education being the pathway to a better future, but it also taught me to think more broadly about how we educate the people.”

    Finally, a Mass was held to remember the martyrs and their companions. It also included a special remembrance for the late Charles Bierne, S.J., a former president of Le Moyne who has a special connection to Universidad Centroamericana.