To learn more about Salvadoran Pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes, and for information about contributing to support their ministries in El Salvador, please visit

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rutilio Grande anniversary March 12th

This week marks the 31st anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Rutilio Grande on March 12, 1977. The assassination of this Jesuit priest who was speaking out against the injustices of an oppressive government was a turning point for El Salvador and a catalytic event in the live of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Read a brief biography and reflection on the legacy of Rutilio Grande on the SHARE Foundation website, including this excerpt from William J. O’Malley, SJ, The Voice of Blood: Five Christian Martyrs of Our Time (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1980):

Increasingly, Grande began to exemplify a new church in El Salvador , committed to awakening in the poor a sense of their dignity and rights as children of God. This was s time when the social contradictions in El Salvador were building to a violent crisis. In this atmosphere, Grande acquired a reputation as a “radical” priest, an enemy of the system. With the bishops facing pressure to “do something” about this troublesome influence, Grande resigned from his position in the seminary and took up an assignment as pastor of Aguilares, a small town near his birthplace. There he established a vigorous pastoral ministry, training lay catechists to insert the gospel message throughout the community. In base communities, peasants studied the word of God and in that light raised critical questions about the sources of their oppression. Grande’s sermons on social justice were infamous among the town’s elite, and once again the pressure mounted on him to have him silenced.

In March 2002, a group from CBC took part in a SHARE delegation to El Salvador for the 25th anniversary commemorations of Fr. Rutilio Grande.

In addition to participating in the march along the road where Rutilio Grande was assassinated and celebration events in the town of Aguilares, we visited with our friends in Santa Ana and Atiquizaya and traveled to the Lower Lempa to learn about a women's shrimp cooperative and other successful rural cooperatives.

Thank you to Andy Smith for sharing these images from the 2002 delegation and the march from El Paisnal to Aguilares. To see more of Andy's images from the 2002 delegation, visit these links:

CBC in El Salvador 2002

Images of El Salvador