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RIP Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU

 Dear Sister, Dianna,

God--you once advised, 

"Call out to the rest of us, 

'What meaning does love have 

if you allow torture to continue 


The Idaho summer lay on the lake, air touched with sweetgrass. I recall the retreat your book The Blindfold's Eyes insinuated through the fence of my life. 

It was not homework. Your voice was easy to follow, fall in love with, even as marks left by burns smoldered into the fabric shirt of my identity. 

You'd let despair drip into the page, sought in every corner the girl sunk back. The tense pit of the bodies--the Alejandro you testified to anyone who would listen. 

You bared your back, then your invisible wounds too. With your words, you led us. I, who never sat so still, as you on the Lafayette park, in protest. 

O, Dianna.

With your blessing once, kneeling at the table of a School of America's Watch conference held for the first time at Georgetown in November 2010. 

The corridor where sponsors tables lined, the wing had emptied of students, you sat behind the orange TASSC banner, I stopped and said I was going to cross that line. 

Thank you, you said.

O, Dianna, my daughters will do the business of God I pray, and it is no easier, sometimes to be for them what they need--a symbolic jiu-jitzu to the torture teachers? 

Now I go and get things--it seems I am continuously getting things, hair ties left behind in a car, bunny somewhere downstairs, more milk, marshmallow from the store. 

The going and the getting is symbolic of course of my love--something to set them at rest, or to enable their enjoyment, or to reassure them.

You called Jesus "Our Tortured Brother Today"  

it was of God when you said, "Bid us to look into the secret prisons-the unmarked graves- the hearts and minds of torture survivors,"

To witness the scene of crime, crime against humanity, I have needed this community, those gathered in this circle. The held space where we are welcome to bring our 

whole selves. 

But there are so many secret prisons, black sites, destroyed tapes, redacted memoirs. We keep stressing to close Guantanamo, re-threading the needle, challenging the narrative.

Rest in peace.

Our work will continue.


--citation from prayer originally published on Pax Christi 

For further references, see compilation by Rose Berger <> accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

Vigil Service Sunday, February 28 - 2021

6:30 p.m. (CST)

Follow the Link Below for Live Stream

Funeral Service Monday, March 1 - 2021

10:30 a.m. (CST)

Follow the Link Below for Live Stream


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