Deaths in El Salvador to be remembered with pilgrimage

Ursuline Sister Janet Marie Peterworth, president of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, will travel to El Salvador Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the killings of four U.S. missionaries, including an Ursuline sister. The delegation will include about 100 women religious and other leaders from around the United States.

Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan, a lay volunteer, were killed on Dec. 2, 1980.

The women had been working with the “most vulnerable Salvadorian communities, especially children orphaned by the violence of the war,” according to a press release from the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. Afterward, “hundreds of women religious and lay women volunteered to take their place accompanying the people of El Salvador,” the release said.

Sister Peterworth, who will represent region six of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said in the statement, “It is especially significant that I am going on this pilgrimage because one of the martyred sisters, Sister Dorothy Kazel, is an Ursuline Sister from Cleveland, Ohio.

While we are not of the same Ursuline congregation, we do share the charism of St. Angela Merici, and I feel as though I knew Dorothy.”

During their trip, the delegation will visit the site where the women were killed and will hear from the people who knew the women. The delegation also will meet with leaders of grassroots movements and the mothers of people who went missing during the Salvadoran war, the statement said.

A prayer service to commemorate the anniversary is also planned for Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Ursuline Motherhouse Chapel, 3115 Lexington Road.

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