Carmelite Father Peter Hinde, honoured for his decades of ministry in Latin America, died on 19th November of Covid-19. He was 97.
His death came just two days after he and his friend, Mercy Sister Betty Campbell, were honoured virtually with the CRISPAZ Peace Award for their decades of ministry and social justice work in Latin America. Fr Peter helped found CRISPAZ, Christians for Peace in El Salvador, in 1985, during the Salvadoran civil war.
Most recently, Fr Peter and Sr Betty ran Casa Tabor, a home in a modest Ciudad Juarez neighbourhood near the US border where they worked with the poor but also worked to understand what was happening to people in the region. Sr Betty, who also tested positive for Covid-19, helped care for her dying friend.
In a long public Facebook post, Columban Father Roberto Mosher, director of the Columban Mission Centre in El Paso, Texas, said Fr Peter was born in in Elyria, Ohio, and went to school at Mount Carmel High School in Blue Island, Illinois. He was valedictorian of the Class of 1941. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he entered a Carmelite seminary in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 1946.
Fr Peter directed formation of students at the Carmelite Theology House in D.C., 1960-65, and joined the Black civil rights struggle.
Fr Roberto said Fr Peter began to feel ill in early October, and “with the help of the circle of friends on both sides of the US-Mexico border, he was hospitalised in El Paso for about two weeks, but then recovered sufficiently to be released.” He resided for a time at a retirement facility for diocesan priests in El Paso.
“The day after the CRISPAZ Peace Award was virtually awarded to both Peter and Betty, he was hospitalised again for very low oxygen,” Fr Roberto said.
Photo: Fr Peter Hinde pictured with Sister Betty Campbell.