Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador

Quoting James Martin, S.J., as we remember these brave men and women who were murdered 30 years ago this weekend, because they stood for social justice, social change for the people.

“These men and women paid the ultimate price for standing with the poor and marginalized in the name of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:30). AMDG

— Read on :

On November 16, 1989, Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J. and Elba Ramos, a housekeeper for one of the local Jesuit community’s, and her 15 year-old daughter Celina Ramos, were murdered at the University of Central America in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The lives and loss of these martyrs have significantly influenced the Ignatian family in the United States and throughout the world. Jesuit institutions have re-defined what it is to be universities, high schools, parishes, etc. in light of the martyrs, discerning new ways of addressing issues of social justice locally and abroad. Across the Ignatian family new ways of proceeding have developed over the course of twenty-five years. ISN is a direct product of the spirit of the martyrs, forming in response to their tragic deaths at the hands of many individuals who received training at the former U.S. Army School of the Americas.

Is This What it Means to be White?

Two white journalists consider their journey, exploring the murder of a white minister by group of white men in the segregated deep south of Alabama, United States, in 1965.




Thank You, Cokie

She passed on Tuesday at the age of 75.

Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs.

The story goes that her older, 3 year old brother couldn’t pronounce “Corinne” when she came home from the hospital, he called her Cokie, and that was that.

She had a keen, life-long deep understanding of politics, especially here in the United States.  She grew up in politics — her father, then her mother both held seats in the US House of Representatives from Louisiana — and chose the path of chronicling the many stories around public affairs rather than governance.

Not only did she choose a life in the “fourth branch”, but her voice and balanced, thorough analysis of issues — and broad public appeal therein — guided her to become one of the “Founding Mothers” of National Public Radio, and more broadly, one of the women in leadership roles in public journalism.

She was so good on NPR that commercial leader ABC hired her as well. She reported from both outlets for more than three decades.

Her voice remained steadfast and consistent in our public discourse, and even in recent years as she had begun to step back, I always felt a certain calm and certainty of what was true when I heard her speak on whatever the topic of the day was.

I was shocked when I heard the news of her passing on Tuesday morning while driving to work.  On the commute home at the end of the day, I was fortunate to hear on another public radio station, Classical KDFC, the afternoon DJ Robin Pressman pay tribute to Roberts with a dedication of the first 5:00pm Commute Song (what KDFC calls “The Island of Sanity”), Felix Mendelssohn’s “On Wings of a Song 34 #2”.

Cool to hear that peaceful, uplifting music anytime, especially as nod to one of the great voices of our time.  Thanks for your insights and wisdom and positive effect on our national conversation, Cokie.  

Would that we can honor you as Rachel Martin suggested on Up First today, when she closed with what was perhaps your simple credo for living:  “Do the work. Be fair. Be kind. And lift each other up.”   


More on Cokie Roberts found here.

More on Cokie Roberts as one of the Founding Mothers found here.




News of Chester Bennington’s suicide has me slowly shaking my head in frustration. The Linkin Park frontman left the world far too early, taking his own life at age 41. 

“Another one gone”, I can only think.

His passing marks the latest of several public faces that have meant so much to so many through their lives and art. And then each decided to end end it, check out, commit suicide.

Ronnie Montrose. Robin Williams. Chris Cornell. And now Chester Bennington. 

So very sad, for sure. But SO frustrating, too.  

These posts from twitter give some sense of the tragedy of suicide. In this case they’re about Bennington (mostly), but the themes of darkness and pain and resulting loss are universal.

Famous or not, EVERY life matters. 

No one should give up on hope, no one should give up on life.  

No matter how dark it is, there is light out there for you.  

Say No to the pain, don’t let it have the last word. Don’t let the anxiety and depression win.  

Stay in the fight.  Accept, and transcend, and KEEP GOING.

Finally, put this number in your phone. I just did. 

You never know when you might change someone’s life, by saving it.


A Little Hungry? GOOD.

It’s a good idea to be a little hungry. Even used to it.  Not starving, malnourished, or any other otherwise at-risk state.  Just hungry.  Here’s what I mean.

You want to be a little hungry so you don’t over eat.  It’s all about portion control, at least here in the U.S.  The restaurants, by and large, don’t help.  They serve HUGE plates of food. At least two servings, if not maybe three.  That doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing in one sitting.  Don’t, in fact.

Case in point:  I was reading the results of a recent study that was addressing the miss-guided criticism of eating pasta.  It’s not pasta that makes one fat, it’s that many people eat too much of it.  Small portions equal the right amount.

Allow yourself to be a little hungry.

How else can you apply this simple principle?   Be hungry to learn.  Stay curious.  Keep pushing yourself to read new things, try new tools, check out a new website. Take a cooking class.  Or woodwork.  Or tap-dance. Whatever your fancy, Keep Learning.

What else?  For those things you already do well, do often, are good at…stay hungry to keep striving, to be a wee bit better.  Keep the ax sharp.

Yep, it’s good to have a healthy yearning for more.  In fact, it will make the world a better place.

Stay hungry.

International Women’s Day 2016

800px-Frauentag_1914_Heraus_mit_dem_FrauenwahlrechtIt was probably destiny.

I come from a family of two boys, me and my brother.  Our mother was outnumbered.  It was just mom and the three boys (dad included).  So we heard from time to time, especially during our adolescent years, how we needed to respect women, and in particular mom.  She wasn’t about to let us roll over her.  And we didn’t.

Then when I got to college, there were a group of very intelligent, independent, stand-up-for-yourself young ladies I became friends with.  I called them the the “power women of Santa Clara University”, because they were all about leadership, speaking up about things that concerned them (and everyone), and making a difference in the world.  Lots more respect for women came out of those years.

So as a result, I think I’ve always been comfortable with girls, women, ladies.  Though that trait didn’t always translate to being readily successful on the dating scene, I’ve always had women friends.  I get along with them and seem to empathize effectively.  Yep, all in all, I can understand and relate to women pretty well I think (however, my wife might say different, at least some of the time).

Now I find myself with two daughters of my own.  It all seems to have fallen into place.  The next chapter is well underway in my life now.

I can say this for sure:  Though I know gender equality has a long way to go, it’s a lot better than it was even fifty years ago (at least in the U.S.).  I’m glad my girls will grow up here.

They’ll have great opportunities with women’s sports in school.  Professionally they’ll have a chance to work in a much broader array of disciplines and fields than girls had even just a generation ago (and further back too, of course).  Sure, glass ceilings still exist, but it’s getting better.  The awareness certainly is much greater.

There are more women in leadership, both in public life, and in industry.

There are fine organizations like He for She that are doing amazing work to further women’s issues and rights AROUND THE WORLD.

There’s the work of people like Yassmin Abdel-Magied ~ a young women bending stereotypes from start to finish and inspiring young people (and many others!) to make a difference in the way they think and act and DO.

Closer to my home, there are the Silicon Valley Roller Girls.  This organization is grass-roots, runs several flat track roller derby teams for ladies (part of a national movement of teams and leagues around the US) , and is all about empowering women, especially as they come of age from adolescence.

Yep, with my two girls now to the fore of my mind every day, my lifetime orientation to women is at a whole new level.  I’m glad to know there’s so much awareness and effort and action behind moving the world toward gender equality.

A lot more good stuff on this topic found here: