Participants in the delegation to Honor Women Religious visited Divine Providence Hospital Chapel on Friday, November 30, the site where Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980.
The group stood in reverential silence at the very spot at the altar where he was shot. S Maryann Agnes Mueller wrote: “This has been such a beautiful experience!”
On Saturday, December 1, the group traveled two and a half hours to a rural community where sisters from the Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) congregation prepared a memorial prayer service followed by a program. This consisted of testimonies of women who knew the martyred women, of women who received scholarships and now are community leaders and three dances by a young dance group.
On the actual anniversary of the death of the four churchwomen, December 2, the delegation traveled in silence to the rural area where the bodies were found. A monument and chapel have been built on the site. After a short memorial service, the delegation joined the local folk in the chapel for Mass for the first Sunday of Advent. Rather than the traditional violet vestments worn during Advent, the celebrant wore red vestments.
S Nancy and S Maryann arranged for Mass to be offered for all Felician Sisters at the holy ground where the churchwomen died as well as at the chapel where Archbishop Romero was assassinated.
A monument near the small chapel reads: “Catholic missionaries Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan and Ita Ford gave up their lives on December 2, 1980. Receive them into your kingdom.