On Wednesday, December 2nd, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of our own Sister Dorothy Kazel and her companion missionaries to El Salvador, Sr. Maura Clarke, Sr. Ita Ford, and Jean Donovan.

“By their own testimonies, each of these martyrs articulated a real fear of death and an absolute trust in God. Maura Clark expressed it clearly: “If my time comes, will I be faithful?” Their struggle to be people of integrity and commitment in the face of life-threatening situations continues to speak to us. If the lives and sacrifices of our many modern martyrs are going to have any meaning in the world today, it will be because we still feel their pain and are open to listen to the Gospel calling us:

  • to risk
  • to challenge ourselves to fidelity and the responsibilities of global/local citizenship;
  • to be a transforming presence of love, accepting all people as children of one God;
  • to hear the cries of oppression around us, particularly refugees and asylum-seekers;
  • to live an ever-deepening awareness that what is worth dying for is also worth living for;
  • to pour forth ourselves in love, living the Works of Mercy in the spirit of the Beatitudes.

May the grace of God be with us as we march courageously into the future casting out fear by our love, creating a world free of the violence that still is destroying life in so many ways, and seeking a peace that is rooted in justice for all.”

Sheila Marie Tobbe, OSU, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of the Four North American Churchwomen, prepared for the 40th Anniversary Guide, “Roses in December,” published by SHARE and LCWR. roses_in_december_toolkit_for_planning_a_local_event.pdf (share-elsalvador.org)

Sister Sheila Marie Tobbe