Wednesday, December 2, 2015

For All the Saints: Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford
Since this past All Hallows' Tide (a time of remembering the saints of the church), I've been writing briefly about persons who are honored on different liturgical lists. A "saint" can mean someone formally canonized by the Roman Catholic church, or any servant of God who became historically memorable.

On the ELCA liturgical calendar, four women martyred in El Salvador are honored today, the anniversary of their deaths. Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U. (b. 1939), was an American Ursuline Religious Sister and missionary to El Salvador. Sister Maura Clarke, M.M. (b. 1931), lay missionary Jean Donovan (b. 1953), and Sister Ita Ford, M.M. (b. 1940), were beaten, raped, and murdered by members of the El Salvador military on December 2, 1980. The soldiers were tried and convicted, and the US-supported El Salvadoran government was brought into world scrutiny. The day before, Ford had quoted in her conference talk a passage from Archbishop Óscar Romero: "Christ invites us not to fear persecution because, believe me, brothers and sisters, the one who is committed to the poor must run the same fate as the poor, and in El Salvador we know what the fate of the poor signifies: to disappear, be tortured, to be held captive - and to be found dead."

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