Watercolor original by: Marie Spaeder Haas

September 2020 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

It Is Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

There is no way to soften this: we need $150,000 to replace the loss of $150,000 that we will NOT receive from our annual mission appeals.  As most of you know, COAR participates in the Mission Co-operative Plan of the Catholic Church, making mission appeals in 50-60 parishes throughout North America each summer. We usually raise $150,000, plus, gain new supporters and sponsors. This program has been nearly cancelled this year. If you have friends or family that might be interested in our wonderful children, now is the time to approach them.  If you know of a family foundation or a grant that we might pursue, tell us. We all know the disruption of this pandemic has been soul-deep and economically devastating. None of you have waivered.  Many have even doubled their donations and including encouraging notes and prayers.  The word “thanks” does not describe the sacrifice that this must be. This 40th year of the sacrifices that gave birth to COAR puts you all in the company of the Saints.  Thank you.

News from El Salvador

El Salvador’s restrictions on travel and business due to COVID remain severe. Schools remain on-line, only, which is nearly impossible for poor students. The financial devastation from COVID is brutal and will extend into the future to the degree that students cannot recoup their educations. And to add to the sorrow, a priest was murdered on August 6th, El Salvador’s patronal Feast of Salvador del Mundo, (Jesus, Savior of the World, also celebrated as the Transfiguration.) He was the rector of the St. Romero Seminary in the eastern part of the country. Police have no suspects and no motive.  He is the third priest killed in as many years.  In their official statement, the Bishops of El Salvador closed with this, “We beg, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Martyrs that God grant unto Fr. Ricardo Antonio Cortez the prize of his faithful servants and to our people the liberation from impunity and violence that has, sadly, done away with so many lives.”