Collection: Martyrs of El Salvador

ARTIST: Julie Lonneman


On December 2, 1980, four Catholic missionaries from the United States working in El Salvador were raped and murdered by five members of the El Salvador National Guard. They were Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Dorothy Kazel, and lay missionary Jean Donovan.

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The American Churchwomen

On December 2, 1980, members of the National Guard of El Salvador intercepted the van carrying four American churchwomen as they were leaving the international airport in San Salvador. Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clark, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay missioner Jean Donovan were taken to an isolated spot where they were shot dead at close range.

Ita Ford and Maura Clark worked in Chalatenango and were returning from a Maryknoll Sisters meeting in Nicaragua. Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan had come from La Libertad to pick up their missioner friends at the airport. All were working in the country on behalf of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, helping refugees flee the violence of the erupting war.