Kathleen Osberger presents “I Surrender: A Memoir of Chile’s Dictatorship, 1975”

September 19th: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm @ East Hall, Little Theatre

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People, the Department of History and the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Ripon College, and is open to the public.

We invite students and community members to join us for a discussion of “I Surrender: A Memoir of Chile’s Dictatorship, 1975” with author Kathleen Osberger, led by Professor Emeritus of Religion Brian Smith. Following the conversation, two Ripon College students will share their reflections and the floor will then be open for Q&A.

About the book: In September 1973 a CIA-assisted coup overthrew the democratically-elected president of Chile, ushering in the Pinochet dictatorship. In 1975, Kathleen Osberger, a recent graduate and lay volunteer from Notre Dame, left for Santiago to teach in a Catholic grade school. Upon arrival, she was told a secret: the religious women she would live with sheltered dissidents in the cross-hairs of Pinochet’s secret police. Given the ever-tightening vise over the citizenry, brave and prophetic people reached out to protect the dissidents’ lives in a world without due process and where detention, torture, disappearance, and death reigned. Soon, Osberger is handed a blindfold, a warrant, and must go on the run.

I Surrender depicts the solidarity of the Chilean people and the transformational role of nuns and priests dedicated to serving the poor, while highlighting the changing and challenged Catholic Church.

About the author: Kathleen Osberger earned her B.A. at the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from Maryknoll School of Theology, and an A.M. from the University of Chicago-School of Social Work Administration. Her life was shaped by volunteer experiences when she lived in San Miguelito, Panamá; Santiago, Chile; Chimbote, Perú and the South Bronx. In 1987 she began a seventeen-year relationship with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners as an instructor in their orientation to mission program. In 1993 she joined the University of Chicago Hospitals–Department of Psychiatry. Her work as a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist has centered on the issues of trauma and torture. She currently lives in Chicago.

Learn more in the full press release.


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