Justpeace Advent Wreath for the Year of Our Lord 2000

Dedicated to the Four Churchwomen who gave their lives as Martyrs for the Poor in El Salvador on December 2, 1980.

Maura Clarke + Ita Ford + Jean Donovan + Dorothy Kazel +

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador said: "Christ invites us not to fear persecution because, believe me, brothers and sisters, the oe 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." HOME + Front Page Webzine

A Litany of Remembrance and Salvation , from the Justpeace Prayerbook. . . Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, Jean Donovan, pray for us.

Maryknoll Sisters 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Four Churchwomen

Jean Donovan "Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could except for the children, the poor bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness. Not mine, dear friend, not mine."

Sister Ita Ford, MM "Am I willing to suffer with the people here, the suffering of the powerless, the feeling impotent? Can I say to my neighbors - I have no solutions to this situation; I don't know the answers, but I will walk with you, search with you, be with you. Can I let myself be evangelized by this opportunity? Can I look at and accept my own poorness as I learn it from the poor ones?"

Sister Maura Clarke, MM "We have the refugees, women and children, outside our door and some of their stories are incredible. 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. . . My fear of death is being challenged constantly as children, lovely young girls, old people are being shot and some cut up with machetes and bodies thrown by the road and people prohibited from burying them. A loving Father must have a new life of unimaginable joy and peace prepared for these precious unknown, uncelebrated martyrs. 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?" The day before she died, she wrote "I want to stay on now, "I believe now that this is right...Here I am starting from scratch but it must be His plan and He is teaching me and there is real peace in spite of many frustrations and the terror around us and the work, etc. God is very present in His seeming absence."

Sister Dorothy Kazel, OSU (Ursuline) El Salvador is "writhing in pain - a country that daily faces the loss of so many of its people - and yet a country that is waiting, hoping, yearning for peace. The steadfast faith and courage our leaders have to continue preaching the Word of the Lord even though it may mean 'laying down your life' in the very REAL sense is always a point of admiration and a vivid realization that JESUS is HERE with us. Yes, we have a sense of waiting, hoping, and yearning for a complete realization of the Kingdom, and yet we know it will come because we can celebrate Him here right now." Remembering Dorothy , from ForeWord Magazine.

The Unworthy 72 , essay by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman on the demonization and marginalization of the Central American martyrs in US politics.

The case of the Four Churchwomen , from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, detailed access to primary documents and commentary regarding the investigation of these martyrs' deaths.

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