Church Women of El Salvador

Today is the 40th anniversary of the rape and murder of four U.S. church women working with refugees in El Salvador in Central America: Sr. Maura Clark, Lay Missioner Jean Donovan, Sr. Ita Ford, and Sr. Dorothy Kazel. Sr. Maura and Sr. Ita were Maryknoll Sisters. The four women were killed by the El Salvador military in a terrible period in that country’s history when more than 75,000 people were killed.
This is an El Salvador street mural memorializing the four martyred church women. Their memory lives on in some of the Cambodian Maryknollers, too. Sr. Helene, one of our Cambodian group, was president of the Maryknoll Sisters when the women were killed and went to El Salvador to handle the situation after their deaths and was also a participant in the trials of the military that followed. Fr. Kevin also had connections with lay missioner Jean Donovan who was also from Cleveland, Ohio. Fr. Kevin was at her funeral.