Martyrs of Hope tells the inspiring story of seven U.S. missioners who paid the ultimate price for the poor of Central America. Two of them have been beatified by the Catholic Church: Fr. Stanley Rother and Brother James Miller, who were killed in Guatemala. Four of them were women killed by the military in El Salvador: Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay-missioner Jean Donovan. The seventh, Maryknoll Sister Carla Piette, who also died in El Salvador, represents what Pope Francis has recently called a “martyr of charity,” who laid down her life for her neighbors.
All of these martyrs challenged an unjust status quo in the countries where they ministered. This book offers a riveting and troubling story of their heroic witness. Although their lives, backgrounds, and beliefs varied widely, they held a common faith and hope: to better the lives of the poor among whom they lived and worked.
Donna Whitson Brett served as an academic advisor at the School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.
Edward T. Brett is a professor emeritus of history, La Roche College in Pittsburgh. Their previous book, Murdered in Central America (Orbis 1988), won a Christopher award.