Mural outside Our Lady of Pilar Catholic Church in El Salvador (Catholic News Service/Courtesy Patricia Lazlo)

December 2nd, 2020, we honor the life, ministry, and sacrifice of Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan. On December 2, 1980 they were brutally raped, murdered, and buried as response to their work with and for the poor of El Salvador.

In honoring them, we call to mind Archbishop Oscar Romero and the 70,000 Salvadorans who also died as El Salvador struggled to put human rights as primary.

The call to affirm the human dignity and rights of each person, to share the lot of the poor, and specifically to enhance the lives of the poor of El Salvador with God’s grace, with hope and with food and education was at the heart of the mission of these four women.  Their ministry was an example of response to the Gospel challenge:

“Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”   (John 15:12-13)   

Here is a link to an article from Catholic News Service about these Sisters and Jean Donovan.