Members of the University of San Francisco community gathered at St. Ignatius Church Nov. 17 to remember the lives and take inspiration from the legacy of the six Jesuit priests and their two companions assassinated in El Salvador in 1989.

A Mass marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre at the Jesuit university in San Salvador was followed by a candlelight procession with white wooden crosses inscribed with the victims’ names, the dedication of a new campus memorial to the 1989 victims and remembrance of St. Oscar Romero and four church women who were victims of El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war.

With a prayerful planting of crosses at the UCA Martyr Memorial – named for the University of Central America, where the atrocity took place – the gathering celebrated the lives of extraordinary men and women “who made a conscious choice to be a voice for the poor and the oppressed.”

El Salvador’s consul general, Ana Valenzuela, spoke briefly about the need to remember the martyrs, said Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey, who presided at the Mass….

Father Godfrey, who took two immersion trips to El Salvador with USF students, staff and faculty, said the martyred Jesuits “were dragged out of their home in the middle of the night to be massacred by Salvadoran soldiers trained and supported indeed by the United States. We now know their main target was the rector of the Jesuit university, Father Ignacio Ellacuria, and it was important there be no witnesses to his murder….”

The above comes from a Nov. 18 story in Catholic San Francisco.