In the spirit of Archbishop Oscar Romero, especially in light of Pope Francis' recent declaration of his actual martyrdom and the status of an official Church martyr, I reprint a section of the LCW newsletter covering our family experience, of mostly my father, peace activist Tom Siemer, and myself at the Center for Peace Studies at Georgetown University (with Rev. Richard McSorley, S.J.) of either Romero or El Salvador in an era of grave genocide against the Salvadorean people. This is our testimony. New information and pictures are added. Gracias Pope Francis!
|In front of the Synod, Mexico City, 1979, with a group of protesting mothers of the "Disappeared" in El Salvador. I am at the right and my mother, Dorothy Siemer, at the far right in red pants.|
|Salvadorean mothers of the "disappeared," those whose tortured bodies were never found. I am on far right, with literature for the Pope, cardinals, bishops, and press against weapons of mass destruction|
|Mothers of the "disappeared" (sons, husbands, brothers, etc) desperate for help from the Church.|
|My father, Tom Siemer, and I in Mexico City, 1979|
|Sr. Dorothy Kazel, Presente!|
|Sr. Maura Clark, Presente!|
|Sr. Ita Ford, Presente!|
|Lay Worker Jean Donovan, Presente!|
The Six Jesuit Professor Martyrs of 1989, University of El Salvador, Their Housekeeper and her Daughter, Presente! :
- Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J.
- Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J.
- Segundo Montes, S.J.
- Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J.
- Joaquín López y López, S.J.
- Amando López, S.J.
- Elba Ramos (the cook and housekeeper)
- Celina Ramos (16 years old, daughter of Elba Ramos)
|My father, Tom Siemer, and Dom Helder Camara|
A final note is from the bulletin here at St. John the Evangelist Church across the street from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where I am currently. I am still here trying to recuperate from the live liver surgery (I gave 59% of my liver to my nephew, Nick Evans in end stages liver disease) and emergency second one 4 days later for a ruptured cecum (leads into the colon) and weeks of infections. I am at the Mayo's Gift of Life Transplant House. The day before surgery Abby Evans and I went to a daily mass at St. John's and the following was written by their pastor, Fr. Jerry Mahon, about Archbishop Oscar Romero (in their June 7, bulletin we had found):
"The recent Beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero is a call for me to live with courage and speak the truth as I discover the presence of Christ. This martyr was speaking the truth and confronting the violence of the government towards the poor, but not with a sword, but a heart of conviction with the One he loved and proclaimed Jesus Christ. The certainty of his walk, path was founded in a profound belief that Christ was present in the reality of the poor and even though he had been warned to stop speaking, he lived as so many Christians do today, with a clear desire to be faithful, and was assassinated while celebrating the Eucharist. As we have heard over the centuries, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith for the world and this witness of his life is a sign of being alive with certainty in Christ. There was no room for being a cynic even though there was good reason, but a fullness of life in the Spirit is full of freedom for Another."
If you wish to follow Nick and I's progress you can go to caringbridge.org under the "search site," "monica siemer." We try to update it from time to time. Here is a gift to all of you who have been praying so hard for Nick and I. Please keep the prayers coming as we are still dealing with challenges and surprises. Here is a long praise and worship song to edify your soul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcnfT4arZtI
If the link does not work, please go to YouTube and put in "I Surrender by Hillsong 2012 concert version" that is about 10 minutes long, with 43 million hits. It has saved me here through the worst of this ordeal, as we listened and prayed it almost daily while in the hospital. Enjoy!