The trip focuses on commemorating the lives of martyrs, including Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated in 1980.
“We call the trip more of an immersion trip because it gives them the chance to get to know our brothers and sisters in faith face-to-face,” said Mike Haasl, Center for Mission global solidarity coordinator.
Center for Mission, the global mission outreach office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, partners with Friends Across Borders, a program run by the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, to offer the annual immersion trip.
The experience allows the educators to meet and make new friends with the Salvadorans and to learn about their culture, faith and history.
Haasl said he hopes the educators carry what they learned with them back to their students.
“We offer two follow-up sessions when they return so they can receive continued education credits,” said Haasl. “There they can sketch a plan on how to integrate what they learned from the trip and how they will teach it.”
In years past, he said, groups have continued to meet even after the two sessions.
Sarah Carlson, a member of St. Joseph in West St. Paul, is looking forward to visiting the sites where Archbishop Romero lived and was assassinated. “To have the chance to pray at these sites will be life-changing for me,” she said.
To follow the group currently in El Salvador, Sarah Carlson is daily updating her blog, TheViolenceOfLove.wordpress.com.
Carlson said the group named the blog “The Violence of Love” from Archbishop Romero’s quote: “We have never preached violence, except the violence of love, which left
Christ nailed to a cross, the violence that we must each do to ourselves to overcome our selfishness and such cruel inequalities among us.”
For more information regarding future Center for Mission trips or projects, contact Mike Haasl at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 291-4504.