Dear friends and supporters. We want to give you an update regarding our Sisters and the terrible situation in Nicaragua. It was our hope the current issues would have been resolved by a conversation between student protesters and government officials, facilitated by Bishops in Managua. Since those talks have broken down, and the violence continues to impact neighborhoods where our Sisters minister we believed it important to now share what has been happening.
For those who do not know, there has been a series of large scale protests in Nicaragua following an announcement on April 18th of a planned change to the country’s social security system. Needless to say, the resultant actions are due to not only to this announcement, but to years of perceived suppression and repression of the people. The protests have been mainly led by students of the Jesuit run Central American University. Anti-riot forces and police responded with violence, causing the students to take refuge in the Cathedral.
Our Sisters, accompanied by a group from the Cabrini Youth Ministry and the Don Bosco Youth Ministry, went to where the students were located. They provided medicines, water, and spiritual accompaniment. The Sisters returned to that location on multiple occasions, risking their own health and lives to be present for the students.
The situation has only become worse in the intervening months. Barricades have been raised, water supplies are intermittently being cut off, protests are continuing, and the people fear for their lives. Mortar explosions can be heard in Ducuali, the barrio where our Holy Family Elementary School and our convent community are located. Schools have been closed by the Ministry of Education in an effort to keep young people in their homes and safe from indiscriminate violence, shooting, and bombs.
Over 100 people, mostly young students, have died.
We continue to pray for peace, through the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the intercession of Mother Cabrini.
Please join us in this prayer: Dear Lord, you are the source of all hope. When we despair, let us turn to you. Please protect the people of Nicaragua fighting for liberty and soften the hearts of those government officials who are able to facilitate change. Guide the actions of the Bishops of Managua in their efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the violence. We know your great grace can heal Nicaragua. Help us trust in the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.