Prayer to mark date of women’s deaths


DAVENPORT — The Congregation of the Humility of Mary invites all to attend a special prayer service Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Humility of Mary Center, 820 West Central Park Ave., Davenport, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of four churchwomen in El Salvador.

Thirty years ago, on Dec. 2, 1980, the four North American churchwomen were killed by U.S.-trained and funded military in El Salvador. Sisters Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Kazel and laywoman Jean Donovan were intercepted on their way home from the airport in El Salvador. Five Salvadoran National Guardsmen kidnapped, raped and killed them. The guardsmen were convicted of the murders in 1984 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The four American women were among some 80,000 to lose their lives in El Salvador during the country’s 12-year civil war, which ended in 1992. Three of them belonged to religious orders — Sr. Ford, a Maryknoll Sister, spent years in Chile; Sr. Clarke, a Maryknoll Sister, spent years in Nicaragua; and Sr. Kazel, an Ursuline Sister from Cleveland, worked in El Salvador. The fourth woman, Jean Donovan, was a lay woman who worked in El Salvador.

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