Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) is a social justice organization founded in 1984 by a Carmelite priest, a Lutheran minister and a Quaker laywoman. Its mission is to labor in solidarity with the impoverished and dispossessed in El Salvador, the small Central American nation that suffered a 12-year civil war from 1980-1992. CRISPAZ will mark its 25th anniversary with a series of free events in Cincinnati, starting on Saturday, Sept. 26 with daylong activities at Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of Xavier University. All are open to the public.
“We’ve chosen Bellarmine Chapel as the focal point of our Cincinnati celebration because of the parish’s historic connection with the Sanctuary Movement, which placed refugees from El Salvador’s civil war in homes throughout the Tri-State region,” said Dennis O’Connor, CRISPAZ Executive Director. “In fact, CRISPAZ moved its U.S. headquarters to Cincinnati a couple years ago because of the concentration of board members and friends of El Salvador living in and around Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.”
Students at Xavier are especially welcome at the daylong event, O’Connor said, and invitations have been sent to heads of justice programs, the Spanish department and other student groups that would be interested in learning more about CRISPAZ, El Salvador and Central America.
The schedule of events at Bellarmine is as follows:
9 – 10 a.m. – History of CRISPAZ and its relationship to El Salvador.
10:15-11:15 a.m. – A concise history of the Sanctuary Movement.
11:30 a.m.: Mass
1:30 – 4 p.m.: Central American round table, featuring speakers from and with expertise about El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.
At 7 p.m., there will be a showing of the movie “Romero” in the basement of the Williams School of Business, next to Bellarmine Chapel, followed by discussion of the role Archbishop Oscar Romero has played in the people and government of El Salvador.