October 25, 2010

The 33 miners rescued from the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile united all Chileans by “their witness of unity and solidarity,” the country’s bishops’ conference said.

“Their strength and hope invites us to work together as a society to ‘rescue’ so many brothers who suffer from poverty and marginalization, looking to make Chile ‘a table for everyone,’” their Oct. 14 statement said.

Many of the miners, who had last been above ground Aug. 5, came out of their rescue capsule making some gesture to God, kneeling in prayer, crossing themselves and voicing prayers.

Among the thousands of people waiting outside the mine in the culmination of a rescue effort, Bishop Gaspar Quintana Jorquera of Copiapo spent time with miners’ families, sharing in celebrations with those already out of the mine and encouraging those awaiting their loved ones’ return. The bishop celebrated Mass at the camp, offering thanks for all involved in the effort.