It was with sadness that we heard of the death of Francisco Rico, FCJ Companion in Mission from Toronto, long time friend and collaborator of our Sisters there, and most importantly a tireless advocate for a just and fair immigration system. Francisco leaves a legacy of love and hope, particularly in the FCJ Refugee Centre, which he co-directed for many years with Loly Rico CiM.
We reproduce here part of his obituary from the FCJ Refugee Centre website:
Francisco Rico was a pacifist revolutionary who was a trained lawyer in El Salvador and had a Master’s in Economy from Costa Rica. He was forced to leave his beloved country in 1990 due to his work as a defender of Human Rights during the El Salvadorian Civil war. Francisco came to Canada with his pregnant wife and two children as refugees.
As he established himself and his family in Canada, he became painfully aware of the plight of migrants in Canada. With great pride and with the help of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), as well as his adoring wife they founded what is now known as the FCJ Refugee Centre almost 30 years ago. This gained him many accolades including being the first refugee to be President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a recipient of the YMCA Peace Medallion and the William P. Hubbard Race Relations award.
As a committed husband, loving father, and joyous grandfather, Francisco lived to better the lives of everyone he would encounter, specifically those who were marginalized. Francisco was steadfast in the face of injustice making sure that all who could hear him would be aware.
An Advocate for a just and fair immigration system, he would educate anyone who would hear him on the rights and the plight of migrants, not just in Canada but around the world.
Francisco leaves a Legacy of love and hope.
Photo credit: FCJ Refugee Centre facebook page