In Memory of Four Peacemakers
by Fr. Frank Cordaro

Fr. Mike Colonnese, PRESENTE!

Fr. Mike Colonnese
Fr Mike was a Catholic priest from the Diocese of Davenport IA. In the 1970ís Fr Mike was the first head of the US Bishopís Latin American Office in Wash DC. He became a strong supporter of of liberation theologians which got him in trouble with the Nixon administration and resulted in his being was kick out of his office. Disillusioned with official Church structures and leadership, Fr Mike moved to Mexico and started working with progressive labor and radical grass roots social justice groups. He eventually moved to El Salvador and join the armed revolutionaries as a chaplain - priest.

He soon became disillusioned with the politics of violence and returned to the states in the early 1980ís. That is when we at the DMCW got to know Fr Mike personally. He was a much-in-demand speaker who spoke first hand about what was really happening in Latin America.

By the end of the 1980ís Fr Mike had returned to El Salvador and started the Hogar Juvenil Divino Salvador orphanage and school for orphans of the war in Sonsonate, El Salvador. I visited Fr Mike and his orphanage a couple times. As I told Fr Mike at the time, he was doing some of the most important work of his priestly life.

Fr Mike died in Florida of diabetes. May his soul rest in peace.