40th Anniversary Martyrdom in El Salvador

Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford (to the left) and Maura Clarke (to the right)


December 2nd, 2020 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Martyrdom in El Salvador, where four incredible churchwomen (two of them Maryknoll Sisters) were brutally murdered along with 70,000 people by their own militia during that nation’s civil war. Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, along with Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan, were killed on a roadside, then buried in a shallow grave, on December 2nd, 1980.

As we are drawn into the vision and hope of these women of faith, our life and our faith is renewed.  The inescapable challenge of their lives and deaths is their compassion for and solidarity with the poor.  They were not blind to the evil and sin in our world, nor were they naïve about its causes.  The wisdom of their faith was that their lives were not focused against evil and sin but upon the holiness of human life.  Their wisdom flowed from the person, message, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Today, almost four decades after the deaths of these women, along with thousands of others who perished during that war, the starkness of their lives and deaths calls us to open our lives to the ultimate simplicity of the gospel:

“Love Thy Neighbour.” (Matthew 22:39)

In tragedy we must find inspiration…we hope and pray the motivational lessons we have learned through these Martyrs sacrifices will touch your lives forever: inspiration, love thy neighbor, have courage, be thankful, have faith.


Please join us for a FREE Zoom Webinar in loving memory of

Maryknoll Sisters Maura and Ita!

December 2nd, 2020 at 7pm (EST)

Were called by the energy of the four churchwomen: we too respond! What will you do with your one precious life? May we, with them, become the living memory of Jesus Christ in solidarity with the poor of our world.

Zoom Link

Learn more about the lives of Sister Ita and Sister Maura

Sister Ita Ford

Sister Ita Ford

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Sister Maura Clarke

Sister Maura Clarke

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“I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Some thing worth living for — may be even worth dying for – some thing that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.”

-Sister Ita Ford

Sister Ita Ford and Sister Carla Piette.
Sr. Ita Ford with children
Sister Ita Ford with children.
Sister Maura with Family
Sister Maura Clarke.