|Bill and JT on a parish home visit|
by Deacon Bill Batstone
Bill is a deacon of the Seattle Archdiocese and member of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners )
The first part of the trip was a pilgrimage focused on visiting the sites where the Catholic martyrs died. These places are truly holy ground. We celebrated Mass in the chapel where Archbishop Romero was assassinated and at the location where the four church women were murdered. JT was the lector at both of these Masses, which was a great honor for her. We also visited the University of Central America (UCA) where the six Jesuit priests were executed and prayed at their tombs. We also spent time at the wall commemorating the 75,000 people who died or were disappeared during the violent civil war. We were also blessed to have talks by people who knew and worked with Archbishop Romero, the church women and the Jesuits. The Gospel witness of love and peace that these people gave in a time of such violence and death remains a shining example to all of us.
|JT at wall commemorating the 75,000 killed during the war|
Being able to share this experience with other deacons and their wives from across the United States helped us to explore our common call to the diaconate, and being together in El Salvador helped us to more deeply connect with our ministry of service. Each of us came back much more centered in our ministry than when we arrived. I have always been “a Matthew 25 kind of guy”, so having an opportunity to share the experience of ministering to the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and those dying in El Salvador helped bring me face to face with Jesus in a new way and made me feel connected in a deeper way with Jesus’ mission to bring the Good News to the poor and suffering of the world.
|Group with parish ministers|