Icon of the churchwomen martyred in El Salvador

Find our PSA e-bulletin for commemorating the 40th anniversary at this link.

Pax Christi USA is supporting the 40th anniversary commemorations of the martyrdom of the 4 U.S. churchwomen — Dorothy Kazel, OSU, Maura Clarke, MM, Ita Ford, MM and Jean Donovan — in El Salvador in December 1980. LCWR and the SHARE Foundation have invited individuals, sister parishes, educational institutions, faith communities, women religious to celebrate the gift of these four women and remember all of those who dedicated their lives to working for justice in El Salvador and throughout the world. The anniversary is an opportunity to offer their story to a new generation hungry for a share of their love, selflessness and courage. Pax Christi USA is inviting our members, local groups, regions and all throughout our community to participate in this anniversary.

Click here to find a toolkit and read below for more information.


From LCWR and SHARE Foundation

December 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Roses in December martyrs, Dorothy Kazel, OSU, Maura Clarke, MM, Ita Ford, MM and Jean Donovan who were brutally murdered by the U.S.-supported Salvadoran military for their ministry and for their dedication to those living in poverty. They were called “subversives” because they were accompanying refugee families who had fallen victim to the escalating violence and oppression that eventually led to civil war. 

LCWR and SHARE Foundation invite individuals, sister parishes, educational institutions, faith communities, women religious to celebrate the gift of these four women and remember all of those who dedicated their lives to working for justice in El Salvador and throughout the world. The anniversary is an opportunity to offer their story to a new generation hungry for a share of their love, selflessness and courage.

Please plan now to host a prayer vigil, evening of conversation and story-telling, retreat, or other gathering in your communities, parishes or educational institutions to honor the memory of Ita, Maura, Dorothy, and Jean and those who continue to follow in their footsteps. Invite searchers and seekers and tell the story of these missioners’ lives and ministries and invite others to follow their example of faith in action.

Organizers hope to commemorate the lives of the Roses in December martyrs by hosting 40 remembrances in 40 cities to mark the 40th anniversary. SHARE El Salvador is collecting brief descriptions of local events. Send details to (jose@share-elsalvador.org) to be counted among the 40.

A toolkit to help with local organizing that include: the story of the four church women; background on El Salvador; ideas for the celebration; a prayer service; ideas for action and advocacy; media suggestions; and a list of resources is available in the following link.

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