Sister Maura Clarke, a Catholic nun and three other women were assassinated by the El Salvadoran government in December 1980. This was a government supported by the United States. What did Sister Maura do that resulted in her violent death? Under the context of Vatican II, liberation theology, and oppressive dictatorships, we hear a story of radical faith.
Investigative journalist, Eileen Markey, whose work has appeared in New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, and Killing the Buddha. wrote Sister Maura’s biography, in A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura.
This is from America Magazine:
No one remembered Maura thirty years later because she was the most pious or the most correct. People didn’t hang her picture on their plaster wall or name their daughter after her or wipe away tears even as they smiled at the mention of her name because she was the most severe, the best at self- flagellation, the most familiar with the desert. They caressed her memory because she visited with love. When Maura talked to you, you felt beloved, person after person told me. She walked into cardboard slum shacks in Nicaragua and terrified villages in El Salvador and addressed individuals with a disarming, open kindness.
It turns out that’s what the story is about. Not death and torture – on a cross or at the hands of a military junta – but warm, flowering, life-giving love.
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