Dorothy, Maura, Ita, and Jean – they are just like me. Just like my 16-year-old sister, my 19/20/21-year-old friends, the women in my life I admire. But the difference is that these young women were following God’s will and lost their life because of it.
December 2, 2010 marked the 30th Anniversary of the murdering of these four churchwomen. These women served the poor of Latin America, and despite difficult and often unsafe situations, knew that they could not leave these people.
I can most identify with Jean Donovan, a laywoman engaged to be married when she knew that she had a greater calling. I know that my calling is not that of a religious life but that it must involve service of faith and promotion of justice. And it can be frustrating to find that balance between sometimes wanting to give up everything and serve the poor and knowing that my privilege allows me to utilize this to influence law-makers.
I will always shout “¡presente!” when I hear the names of these women. Their influence has continued on much past their physical lives and their words and works serve as influence for those who work in the service of faith and promotion of justice to this day.
So I leave with my favorite quote and the wise words of Sr. Ita Ford as many of us are finding out what God’s plan is for us:
“I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for – maybe even worth dying for – something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead.”
paz y amor, e.