Watercolor original by: Marie Spaeder Haas

September 2022 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

Healing Body and Soul

Welcome to all who learned about COAR this summer through one of our (50!) mission appeals in Catholic Churches around North America. For all our supporters, old and new, healing body and soul is what COAR is all about. Healing the body requires good food, good education, and safety. Healing the soul, especially if your soul has been traumatized by abuse or neglect, requires the same, but it also requires psychologists, social workers, friends, and the rituals of nature, culture, and the transcendent. The Archdiocese of San Salvador strives to provide all of that to the children served at COAR. You are vital to that effort. You provide the teachers, housemothers, psychologists, chapel, houses, and the fields of corn and beans that nourish the children, body and soul. This Thanksgiving we hope that this knowledge nourishes your soul, too.

 

News from El Salvador

This small section of the COAR News began in the 1980s when the political situation in El Salvador was very complicated. Voices within the Catholic Church spoke out against the violence of the civil war. Those voices were also raised in opposition to the violence of Nicaragua’s civil war, being waged at the same time. When the wars ended in the 1990s the Church in both countries was no longer threatened for serving and advocating for the poor.

Unfortunately, Nicaragua is again in the news. Over the past year the authoritarian government has suppressed critics and opposition and, in particular, has silenced or harassed critical voices from within the Catholic Church. As in the days of St. Romero’s heroism, these men and women call for protecting the vulnerable, the poor, and the voiceless. We are grateful that El Salvador’s current government continues to allow help and advocacy for the poor.