Fr. Javier Campos Morales and Fr. Joaquín César Mora Salazar were murdered on June 20th in a church in a mountainous region of the Chihuahua state in Mexico.
Sr. Martha de la Torre. along with other SMRs, worked with Fr. Morales in the Tarahumara Sierra region of Mexico. Martha reflects on the gifts Fr. Morales brought to the indigenous people of the Tarahumara Sierra region.
Fr. Javier Campos Morales was a Jesuit really committed to the poor. He spent most of his life missioning in the Tarahumara Sierra with a clear commitment to the Raramuri people or Tarahumara indigenous. His commitment led him to learn to speak their language and to dance Matachin, an important part of their rites. He was known by the nickname “The Rooster” because he used to sing like a real rooster. When he got to a community, the people knew of his arrival when they heard the “rooster” sing.
He was a priest for all people. He ministered to the Mestizo people and celebrated Mass in their communities. He traveled long distances to reach the most distant communities. For the people, Javier was not only a priest but a friend. If people were in need of something, Javier would get it, either in another part of Mexico or by crossing the US-Mexican border where friends lived.
For Javier, the Tarahumara mission was his life, and he was life for many, many, many people. He was a Pastor close to his people.
Martha De La Torre