US women’s works ‘lives on in El Salvador’

North Americans and Salvadorans have gathered at the precise spot where four churchwomen were killed 35 years ago to emphasise that the women’s work for El Salvador’s poor remains alive.

“It is important for us to remember that her work for justice and peace lives on,” said Terri Keogh of her late sister, Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke, who was murdered along with her fellow Maryknoll Sister Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay missionary Jean Donovan by members of El Salvador’s National Guard on December 2, 1980.

“Maura spent the first 20 years of her missionary life in Nicaragua, she then came to El Salvador at the request of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and she did so willingly in a dangerous place,” Ms Keogh said.

Miriam Ford, Sr Ford’s niece, thanked those who helped their family to cope with the deaths, and especially Salvadorans and Americans who continued the women’s work. “You are witnesses of hope, continuing the work that the women did,” she said.