Katherine Corcoran | October 16, 2018
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., commended a group of mothers of the missing Monday for their courage in the face of tragedy during Mass at the site of one of Mexico’s largest mass graves, where scores of victims of the country’s drug violence were found buried.
“The weapons and the violence of those who took your children are strong. But your courage and your love are even stronger,” Father Jenkins told the Colectivo in his homily. “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your love. Thank you for demanding the truth. Thank you for insisting on justice.”
Father Jenkins co-celebrated the Mass, officiated by His Excellency Bishop Luis Felipe Gallardo Martín del Campo of Veracruz, as part of the University’s honoring the Colectivo Solecito de Veracruz — the mothers who discovered the graves — with the 2018 Notre Dame Award. Workers scouring more than 100 acres of hillside and scrub land in the last two years in an area known as Colinas de Santa Fe have found 295 bodies and some 22,000 fragments of human remains, according to federal police and volunteers at the site.
Previous winners of the Notre Dame Award, which recognizes dedication to faith, peace, justice and care for the vulnerable, have included Mother Teresa and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. This is the first time the award has been given to a group or individual in Mexico.
Father Jenkins compared the mothers’ grief to that of the Virgin Mary, for whom Notre Dame is named, in the death of her son, Jesus Christ.
“Your great love did not end with the disappearance of that child. You have come together to reveal the truth about your loved ones who were taken from you,” he said. “In this you are so much like Mary, our Lady, who endured such sorrows, but endured them with love and faith.”
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