"Ita Ford [is] one of the great examples of authentic Christian discipleship . . . I will read and re-read this collection in an effort to capture some of her brave, daring Gospel spirit."--John Dear, author, Lazarus, Come Forth!
"Jesus did not say that his followers would be known by their purity, their piety, or their distinctive dress, but by the love they have for one another. That is the lesson of Ita Ford's story . . . . " -- Sheila Cassidy, author, Audacity to Believe
The murder of of four U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador in December 1980 was one of the defining events of its time: an act of brutality, and at the time a singular witness to the enduring power of the Cross. Now, Jeanne Evans has compiled the writings of one of these martyrs, Ita Ford, a Maryknoll Sister and native of New York. Through her journals, letters, and other writings, readers follow Ford's spiritual journey from her early life and her decision to enter the Maryknoll order, to the experiences in Pinochet-era Chile, as well as Nicaragua and El Salvador that altered and deepened her understanding of the gospel. Her writings reflect the qualities that endeared her to friends and those she served.
"The reasons why so many people are being killed are quite complicated, yet there are some clear, simple strands. One is that many people have found a meaning to live to sacrifice, to struggle, and even die. And whether their life spans sixteen years, sixty, or ninety, for them their life has had a purpose. In many ways, they are fortunate people."--from Ita Ford's letter to her niece on her sixteenth birthday, August, 1980
Jeanne Evans is the Coordinator of Religious Studies and the Humanities Major at Marymount Manhattan College, New York.
A Spanish translation is available here, courtesy of Hermana Edith Schneider, translator, and the
Siervas Pobres de Jesucristo, Mexico.