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US Jesuit Fr. Brackley, 65, dies in El Salvador

Posted By October 17, 2011 | 5:22 pm | International
CNS PHOTO SAN SALVADOR (CNS) -- U.S. Jesuit Father Dean Brackley, 65, who joined the faculty at the University of Central America after six of his fellow Jesuits were killed at the height of the country's civil war, died of pancreatic and liver cancer Oct. 16.Originally a member of the Jesuits' New York province, Father Brackley joined the university's theology faculty after the 1989 murder of the Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter by Salvadoran military troops.

By Catholic News Service
SAN SALVADOR (CNS) — U.S. Jesuit Father Dean Brackley, 65, who joined the faculty at the University of Central America after six of his fellow Jesuits were killed at the height of the country’s civil war, died of pancreatic and liver cancer Oct. 16.
Funeral arrangements in El Salvador were pending Oct. 17.
Originally a member of the Jesuits’ New York province, Father Brackley joined the university’s theology faculty after the 1989 murder of the Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter by Salvadoran military troops.
A native of upstate New York, Father Brackley was working as an educator at Fordham University and as a community organizer in Manhattan’s Lower East Side when he offered to move to the Salvadoran capital.
He administered the University of Central America’s School for Religious Education from 1990 to 1996 and assisted in the work of schools for pastoral formation sponsored by the university. He also hosted numerous delegations of students from Jesuit universities, church leaders and journalists from the United States and elsewhere.
Father Brackley entered the Society of Jesus in 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. He earned his doctorate in religious social ethics from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1980. Early in his ministry he worked as a community organizer in the South Bronx, where he experienced the difficulties faced by people living in poor communities.
Father Brackley often traveled to the U.S. and Europe to lecture about the situation in El Salvador and to keep alive the memory of the priests and other martyrs from the war who worked on behalf of justice for the country’s poor and marginalized people.
He was presented an honorary doctorate of religious studies by Marquette University Sept. 23. He also served as a trustee of University of San Francisco from 2003 until his death. A scholarship for Latino students was established in his name by the University of San Francisco Sept. 28.
A university resolution detailed how Father Brackley’s studies at Fordham broached the intersection of theological and spiritual questions and concerns of the world, particularly poverty and the challenges facing poor and marginalized people.

CNS PHOTO: Jesuit Father Dean Brackley, an American priest who volunteered to go to Central America after the the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests at Central American University in El Salvador, died Oct. 16 in El Salvador after a struggle with cancer. Father Brackley is pictured speaking in 2006 at St. Aloysius Church in Washington.  (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)