Memoir Lovingly Recalls Martyr of an American Missionary

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Debut details life of extraordinary woman who made ultimate sacrifice

Sister Dorothy Kazel's life spoke to the power of love in the face of fear. Described as an "ordinary" woman who was "committed to serving the poor," she begged for an end to United States military assistance to El Salvador because she knew it was contributing to the misery of the common people. However, her work as a missionary came to an abrupt halt when she and three other American missionaries--Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and Jean Donovan--were tortured and killed by Salvadoran security forces near the remote hamlet of San Juan Nonualco. This barbaric act represented Dorothy's ultimate gift: martyrdom for the faith. In newly released Xulon Press book, The Voice: A Missionary's Call to Give Her Life (paperback, 978-1-60647-321-4), Co-authors Dorothy Chapon-Kazel, sister-in-law of Sr. Dorothy, and Sister Mary Ann Flannery, S.C., have compiled a collection of Sr. Dorothy's letters as well as essays contributed by her Ursuline friends.

Say the co-authors, "We believe our readers will gain two insights at best: one, to see that they, too, can offer themselves to serve in their faith communities that have programs to help the poor to volunteer for a faith group to go to another country and serve or to be part of an immersion trip here in the U.S. Second, readers will experience an insight to missionary causes understanding of third world spiritual and economic poverty."

In December 2010, Americans and Catholics will commemorate the martyrdoms of the four American women who were killed in El Salvador during the civil war. "These women were executed for their faith and their work among the poor," the authors say. "In this country, the case is still an open wound and a deep source of reflection on commitment to the poor."

Xulon Press, a part of Salem Communications Corporation, is the world's largest Christian publisher, with more than 5,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order The Voice through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors.

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Jessica Gonzalez

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