El Salvador (“The Savior”) is the only nation in the world to bear the name of Christ. It is approximately the same size as the state of Massachusetts and is located in Central America. It is bordered by the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, with the Pacific Ocean as its southern border.
In spite of its relatively small size, it is the most densely populated country in the Americas, with over 6 million people living there. It is a mountainous area with a tropical climate and the majority of the land is used for agriculture. Most of the population is poor; many people are unemployed and about 20% are illiterate.
In 1964, the Diocese of Cleveland answered the call of Pope John XXIII to help spread the kingdom of Christ to the poor in El Salvador. Since that date the diocese has maintained a presence in the area, even through years of Civil War and the martyrdom of two of its missionaries in 1980: Sister Dorothy Kazel, OSU, and Miss Jean Donovan. Currently, Father Paul Schindler serves in La Libertad and Father John Ostrowski serves in Teotepeque. These parishes serve the pastoral needs of thousands of Salvadorans. The El Salvador Latin American Collection, taken up in the Winter in the Diocese of Cleveland, is their main source of financial support.
To read about a day in the life of Father John Ostrowski, a member of the Cleveland Latin American Mission, click the link below: