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Rutilio Grande, SJ, was the first Jesuit to be assassinated in El Salvador. He was killed on March 12, 1977, for having done the works that Jesus commands with regard to one's neighbor as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. This volume of his writings and homilies illustrates how he applied the social and ecclesial teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) in his ministry with the poor and marginalized of El Salvador. His use of the social sciences to understand the problems in his context, his prophetic denunciation of power and wealth, and his ministry to empower laypeople to lead their faith communities all speak to the Holy Spirit working through the courage of a true servant leader.
Thomas M. Kelly, PhD, is professor of systematic theology at Creighton University. He has published nationally and internationally on philosophical hermeneutics, liberation theology, Jesuit martyrs, and Catholic social thought. His most recent book When the Gospel Grows Feet: Rutilio Grande, SJ, and the Church of El Salvador, is published by Liturgical Press.
Thomas M. Kelly, the rising young Rutilio Grande scholar, is about to present a second book on Grande, the first Jesuit assassinated in El Salvador on March 12, 1977. This publication builds upon Kelly's earlier book on Grande, When the Gospel Grows Feet. Among the strengths of this new book is an even deeper understanding of contextual theology which is essential for new and deeper evangelization in the Church now. Professor Kelly also clearly elaborates on the key role of social analysis in promoting the new evangelization. But most importantly as Kelly himself puts it: "It is impossible to understand Romero without understanding Rutilio Grand, SJ." I definitely recommend this book.
Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC; Concurrent Professor Emeritus, Theology; Director, Latin American/North American Church Concerns; Kellogg Institute for International Studies; University of Notre Dame
"It is with the spirit of aggiornamento that Kelly brings out the inherent power behind Grande's extant writings. This work is highly recommended for any student of Ecclesiology, Latin American Church History, and Martyrdom."
Catholic Books Review
Rutilio Grande was the first in a long line of Salvadoran martyrs killed in so-called "hatred of the faith"—that is, hatred for a faith that expressed itself in love for the poor. His witness inspired Archbishop Romero on his own road to Calvary. These writings, beautifully translated and edited by Thomas Kelly, are an inspiring reminder of what it means, in our time, to take up our cross and follow Jesus.
Robert Ellsberg, Publisher, Orbis Books
"K. has clear affection for his subject and believes his voice should inform Catholics' actions today. Those who believe the church must change to fix social injustices will profit from the message of this fine volume's voice."
Seth Meehan, Boston College, Theological Studies
Thomas Kelly provides the definitive treatment of Rutilio Grande. He captures the spirit and texture of Grande's pastoral commitment and grassroots compassion the way no author has managed. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know about religion and social justice in Central America. Indeed, it offers valuable insights into the continuing relevance of Grande's pastoral-theological perspective for the church in the age of Pope Francis.
Stephen J. Pope, Professor of Theological Ethics, Boston College
"Father Kelly's annotation and contextualization of Rutilio Grande is invaluable. He situates each chapter and then follows Grande's own work with both commentary and discussion questions. The footnotes cite a wealth of sources related to the church's social doctrine and to liberation theology. For whom would this volume have particular worth? College or university introductory courses on evangelization, ecclesiology, the Latin American church, or liberation theology can profit greatly."
Mary Kaye Nealen, SP, Horizons
As anticipated, Professor Kelly does not disappoint! In Rutilio Grande, SJ: Homilies and Writings, Kelly astutely carries the prophetic and pastoral voice of Rutilio Grande to the North American landscape of discipleship. Kelly brilliantly does in this book what Grande did with his life as prophet, pastor, and formation director not only of nascent Jesuits but of generations of ecclesial ministers—lay and ordained. Together Grande and Kelly bring forward the kingdom of God through thoughtful analysis, a creative method of formation, and the eminent cost of discipleship required of all who take the Gospel seriously. Rutilio Grande, SJ: Homilies and Writings echoes Pope Francis's The Joy of the Gospel. It is an important theological, pastoral, and formative resource for people entrusted with the formation of disciples in the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Damian Zynda, PhD, Author of Archbishop Oscar Romero: A Disciple Who Revealed the Glory of God