Annual Bishop Flanagan Lecture at Holy Cross

WORCESTER, Mass. – The annual Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan Lecture on Religion and Public Affairs will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 519 of the Hogan Campus Center.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

This year's speaker is Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M., an outspoken critic of the United States' foreign policy in Central America for the past 15 years and the 1997 recipient of the Pax Christi USA's Pope Paul VI Teacher of Peace Award.

Bourgeois is the founder of the School of the Americas Watch, an office that does research on the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Ga., and informs the public and media about the implications of this training on the poor of Latin America.

After four religious sisters were raped and murdered by Salvadoran soldiers he moved to El Salvador, becoming a translator for a television crew, and later began working with a leftist guerilla group.

Following the assassination of six Jesuit priests in 1989, Bourgeois learned that a number of the Salvadoran soldiers responsible for the crime were graduates of the School of the Americas.  He has since spent nearly four years in a federal prison for nonviolent protests against the School of the Americas.

After graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Bourgeois was a Naval Officer for four years.  He spent two years at sea, a year at a NATO station in Europe, and one year in Vietnam, where he was awarded a Purple Heart for his service.  He entered the Maryknoll Missionary Order and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1972.  He has been nominated for Academy Awards for each of his documentary films, "Gods of Metal" and "School of Assassins."

Bourgeois' remarks will constitute the annual Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan Lecture, named in honor of the late Bishop of Worcester, a member of the Holy Cross Class of 1928, who was known for his lifelong dedication to peace, social justice and ecumenism.

The series was started in 1991 in an effort to build a relationship between the diocese and Holy Cross on social justice and peace issues.  It is sponsored by the College's Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies.