To Join International Emergency Interfaith Delegation
Trip coincides with inauguration of contested Honduran president-elect
Springfield Dominican Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy will spend a week in Honduras as part of an emergency international interfaith delegation of religious leaders who wish to stand in solidarity with the people of the most violent country in the world and to serve as witnesses to the lives and work of religious and lay members of Honduran society who are speaking out for their democratic rights.
The delegation includes 50 representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Colombia. It is organized by the Salvadoran NGO Share El Salvador at the request of Honduran religious including Jesuit Father Ismael “Melo” Moreno, the director of Radio Progresso, in San Pedro Sula, fifty miles northwest of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.
“Padre Melo” as he is called, is the most prominent face of the resistance.
“I’m going to Honduras to be a witness to the power of peaceful resistance,” Sister Kathlyn said. “Padre Melo has been likened to El Salvador’s Oscar Romero. We want to prevent the violence that took Msgr. Romero’s life, like that that took the lives of the four U.S. women in El Salvador.”
Sister Kathlyn is the only U.S. Dominican on the delegation. She will be joined by women from other U.S. congregations including Mercy Sisters, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Franciscans and Jesuits.
“Our delegation is an ‘extra lung” to help the Honduran people and religious breathe,” said a communication from Share El Salvador. International support and recognition often provides a measure of protection for communities in crisis.
According to a SHARE El Salvador news release, since Hernandez’s contested election was certified on December 17, more than 30 people have been reported killed, with many hundreds more either injured or detained. The Honduran government has suspended constitutional rights, giving the army and police additional authority to interfere with and disband the protests. Since the election, social justice advocates and religious figures have been recipients of harassment and death threats.
This will not be Sister Kathlyn’s first encounter with oppressed central American peoples. The Kankakee, Ill., native served in Peru 1996-2009 and accompanied the people of Huancayo province in a truth and reconciliation process that followed the defeat of the Peruvian Maoist terrorist group, Sendero Luminoso. She now serves a member of the Springfield Dominican Sisters leadership team, with offices at Sacred Heart Convent.
The Dominican Sisters of Springfield were founded in 1873. They live from a profound commitment to seeking justice for and right relationship with all of God’s creation.
“One who is committed to the poor must risk the same fate as the poor.”
Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador
May the peace of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, be with us all as we pray in solidarity with the people of Honduras and the delegation of women religious, and other ecumenical leaders, this week taking part an emergency delegation to offer support and serve as witness to the wider world.
(Kindness of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas)