Fr. Jim Carney
Because of his love for them and for Honduras, he spent these years not only tending to their spiritual needs, but also trying to better their lives by forming cooperatives, strengthening unions, fighting for land that was rightfully theirs, all in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Jim was a gentle man whose love for the poor was accompanied by a great hatred for injustice and oppression. As a result, he was considered a subversive by the Honduran government and was exiled without trial in 1979. Since Fr. Jim could not return to Honduras, he went to live in Nicaragua and served the poor in a parish near the Nicaraguan-Honduran border.
Fr. Jim never forgot his beloved Honduran poor; when he had the opportunity to accompany a group of Honduran "freedom fighters" who were crossing from Nicaragua to Honduras in July, 1983, he welcomed the chance to return with them as their chaplain. Fr. Jim did not carry arms.
On September 20, 1983, the Carney family received word of the death of Padre Guadalupe in Honduras. The U.S. State Department and Honduran Government have since given at least six different versions of what happened to him. Since that time, his family has worked unceasingly to determine the truth and to recover his body for burial in a known grave in Honduras.
We now offer Fr. Jim's private letters, personal photos, documents and articles for your perusal, investigation, and research. Copies of these materials were generously donated to CLASA by, and included here with the gracious permission of, Mrs. Virginia Smith, sister of Fr. Jim, and by Drs. Eileen and Joseph Connolly, sister and brother-in-law of Fr. Jim, respectively.
The following photographs were provided by Virginia Smith and Family.
Fr. Jim Carney:
Fr. Jim Carney:
Teaching: Teaching the agricultural co-op Las Mercedes at Toyos Sitting on the New Car: Progreso, Yoro, Honduras - Jim on the old jeep with "La Fragua" in the background - the Jesuit residence and now houses the vocational school for boys. On The Tractor: May 1974 - Padre Guadalupe Carney in Honduras. He looked like this most of the time, smiling and happy. The Little Prayer Hut:
Fr. Carney's "champa" in Toyos. He referred to this as his little prayer house in his autobiography.
Preparations: Father Jim Carney, S.J., is preparing for a three week mission trip to visit the mountain villages around Sulaco in Yoro, Honduras. In addition to his own clothing, items for Mass, and used clothing to give to some of his parishoners, he carries much of his own food as most of the people are too poor to provide his meals.
Letters from Padre GuadalupeWhen creating PDF copies of Padre Guadalupe's letters, we opted to alter as little as possible. As a result, the letters you see here are virtually exact replicas of the letters housed in our archive; Padre Guadalupe's alignment, font choices, and phraseology have all been maintained. CLASA opted to do this to preserve just a bit of Padre Guadalupe's personality, and to leave you with accurate documents for your research. All of these letters are listed in chronological order.
Letters from Padre Guadalupe
- March 26, 1967 (PDF) — Fr. Jim to his sister, Virginia, on Easter celebrations in Honduras
- November 4, 1968 (PDF) — Fr. Jim to his family on one of his arrests and his release
- August 15, 1971 (PDF) — Fr. Jim to his mother on parish work in Honduras
- Letter from Fr. Ronald Zinkle, S.J. (PDF) — In St. Louis after learning of Padre Guadalupe's disappearance and suspected death
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