BY ISN STAFFDecember 2, 2013

Churchwomen of El Salvador

As we remember the loss of Sr. Dorothy Kazel, Sr. Ita Ford, Sr. Maura Clarke and Jean Donovan who were martyred in El Salvador on December 2, 1980, we are reminded that their spirit lives on in the hearts of people throughout the world.  As a reminder of the power of their spirit, the following are some words they shared before their deaths that can challenge us and inspire us.

“What is happening here is all so impossible, but happening.  The endurance of the poor and their faith through this terrible pain is constantly pulling me to a deeper faith response…One cries out; Lord, how long?  And then, too, what creeps into my mind is the little fear, or big, that when it touches me very personally, will I be faithful?

-Sister Maura Clarke, M.M.

“This is a terrible time in El Salvador for youth. A lot of idealism and commitment are getting snuffed out here now. The reasons why so many people are being killed are quite complicated, yet there are some clear, simple strands. One is that people have found a meaning to live, to sacrifice, struggle, and even die. And whether their life spans sixteen years, sixty, or ninety, for them their life has had a purpose. In many ways, they are fortunate people.

Brooklyn is not passing through the drama of El Salvador, but some things hold true wherever one is, and at whatever age. What I’m saying is that I hope you can come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead.”

-Sister Ita Ford, M.M.

“Several times I have decided to leave – I almost could except for the children, the poor bruised victims of adult lunacy.  Who would care for them?  Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness?  Not mine, dear friend, not mine.”

-Jean Donovan

“I could not leave Salvador, especially now … I am committed to the persecuted Church here.”

-Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U.

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