Ellacuria / El Salvador Ministry

Ministry objective: We endeavor to walk in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and to be their voice in our country.

Activities:

  • Build relationships through communication, delegations and prayer
  • Learn about the current issues and struggles facing our sisters and brothers
  • Assist the community in addressing needs through the funding of projects
  • Share information about Ellacuria and El Salvador with the larger Good Shepherd community
  • Advocate for the people of El Salvador within US political and business settings

Meetings:

The ministry meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary of Magdala Chapel (inside the south entrance to the church). To receive a copy of the next meeting agenda, email Ron Leonhardt.

Where is Ellacuria?

Ellacuria, a community of about 175 families, is part of the department of Chalatenango in the northern mountainous part of El Salvador. (*See map below)

Where is that?

How did we get involved?

Our relationship with our Ellacuria sister parish grew out of the killing of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter, on November 16, 1989, at the University of Central America, a Jesuit institution in the capitol, San Salvador. Good Shepherd formed a Central American Committee to see what could be done to be in solidarity with the people there.

A sister parish relationship was formed in 1990. There had been a civil war in El Salvador throughout the 1980s, with a peace accord finally signed in 1991. The people of the area had just returned to their war-torn community from refugee camps in Honduras. The residents of Corral de Piedra renamed their community in honor of Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria, one of the Jesuits who had been killed.

Good Shepherd parishioners Loretta Grow, and Rich Harter visited Ellacuria in August 1990, the first of several delegations that have traveled to visit our brothers and sisters there. Delegations from Ellacuria have also visited Good Shepherd, most recently in the fall of 2016.

What have we done to support the Ellacuria community?

With funds from Combined Collections and our Fair-Trade sales, Good Shepherd has helped fund the construction of a church (Our Lady of the Rosary), additions to the school, a safe water distribution system and anti-delinquency workshops for youth, since gangs are a big problem in El Salvador. Most recently our parish provided funding for a new corn grinder, truck tires and repairs to the garage where the community’s truck is stored.

Fair Trade Sales:

The ministry conducts a Fair-Trade sale of coffee, chocolate and olive oil after Mass three times a year. Profits of the sales are used to fund needs in Ellacuria and support delegations to and from Ellacuria.

How can you help?

You do not need to be a member of the ministry to support its work (although you are most certainly welcome). You can pray for our sisters and brothers in Ellacuria and the people of El Salvador. Consider being part of a delegation. Buy products at the Fair Trade Sale or donate other funds. Write letters and email and make phone calls to our federal representatives on important issues facing the people of El Salvador.

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Upcoming Meetings and Events