A bilingual mass here yesterday celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Sandinista victory over Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua also included a few prayers for divine help in keeping the American CIA out of Nicaraguan affairs.
The Rev. William R. Callahan, who led the special mass at St. Aloysius' Church in Northwest Washington, opened it with a prayer for "our sisters and brothers of Nicaragua on the fourth anniversary of their liberation" and a plea that the House of Representatives "debate in truth and honesty" the Boland-Zablocki bill, which, among other things, would bar funding of any covert action against the present Nicaraguan regime.
Callahan, a Jesuit priest who recently returned from a visit to Nicaragua, said he planned the anniversary mass "at the last minute," because of his concern for the situation there. About 60 persons, the majority of them U.S. citizens, attended.
The worshipers gave an unusual standing ovation to a frail-looking young physician who, at Callahan's invitation, gave a spirited defense of her homeland.
Struggling to express herself in English in a voice that sometimes quavered with emotion, Dr. Marta Medina said the revolution has brought food, literacy, truth and hope to Nicaragua.
Medina urged her listeners to visit Nicaragua to "work with us . . . to see what we are doing there." The revolution, she said, "doesn't go back . . . the revolution just goes forward and forward and forward."
The mass ended with a symbolic "joining" of U.S. and Nicaraguan flags "in friendship, cooperation and peace."
Describing Americans as "descendants of a revolutionary party who threw off the yoke of a ruler who oppressed our land," Callahan led the congregation in a pledge "to work for justice, peace and love until all who see this American flag will feel not fear that it comes to dominate or to subvert, but a justifiable faith that the sisters and brothers who carry it come offering peace, friendship and respect for all people."