On December 6th we were blessed to have Fr. Joseph Nangle, OFM visit the community for a pasta dinner and enlightening conversation. Fr. Nangle is the author of Engaged Spirituality: Faith Life in the Heart of Empire, which brings liberation theology to the United States and shows how we can incorporate it into our lives and Birth of a Church, which documents the eleven years he spent in a Lima, Peru parish during the changes brought on by Vatican II and the liberation theology of Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP.
He shared stories from his time in Peru and El Salvador as well as the importance of liberation spirituality. Fr. Nangle visited El Salvador during the civil war. He spent time at Mesa Grande, a refugee camp in Honduras where Fr. Cortina’s village, Guarjila, lived until 1986. In Engaged Spirituality he describes the Salvadorans in Mesa Grande reading the Exodus story as they discussed a possible return to El Salvador. After reflection and discussion in light of the reading they returned home to El Salvador, risking death at the hands of Honduran and Salvadoran soldiers. It was during this trip that Fr. Nangle came to know Fr. Cortina and the Jesuits in El Salvador. He told the community he last saw Cortina before his death at the 15th anniversary of the UCA martyr’s death.
The community was grateful for Fr. Nangle’s company and conversation. His campus wide lecture was a hit with over a two hundred in attendance. The community enjoyed co-sponsoring his visit and want to thank Jana Carson and Emily Lien for organizing his visit.