• San Salvador university rector to speak here Sunday, Monday

    The Rev. Dean Brackley, the Jesuit rector of Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, will give a homily and lecture at the University of St. Thomas Feb. 25 and 26.

    Brackley replaced the Rev. Ignacio Ellacuria, who along with five other Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter were assassinated by the Salvadoran military in 1989.

    Brackley will deliver the homily at the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Feb. 25, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    He will give a lecture, “Justice and the University,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. In his talk, which is free and open to the public, Brackley will discuss the role of social justice at the University of Central America and its implications for universities in North America.

    His visit is co-sponsored by the university’s Lectures Committee and its Justice and Peace Studies, Catholic Studies, and Campus Ministry departments. For more information, call St. Thomas at (651) 962-6560.

    He also will participate in a dialogue breakfast at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2701 31st St. in Minneapolis. Cost of the breakfast is $3; for reservations call (612) 729-8358.

    Brackley was among those featured in last year’s PBS film, “Enemies of War.” Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film tells the story of the struggle for peace in El Salvador. One of the most shocking events of that country’s decade-long civil war was the murder of the Jesuits teaching at the University of Central America. In the film, Brackley discusses his efforts to follow the Jesuit tradition of teaching the poor and demanding human rights.

    Born in upstate New York in 1946, Brackley was ordained in 1976 and received a doctorate in theological ethics at the University of Chicago in 1980. He began working with Latin Americans in New York City in 1969, and during much of the 1980s worked in the South Bronx as a priest and community organizer. He taught at Fordham University for a year before moving to El Salvador in 1990.

    In addition to articles on religion and society, Brackley is the author of three books: Organize!: A Manual for Leaders; People Power: Together We Can Change Things; and the 1996 Divine Revolution: Salvation and Liberation in Catholic Thought.

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