The biography of a Catholic nun who was murdered while trying to help those in need.
Raised in an Irish Catholic family in Queens, New York, Maura Clarke’s decision to join the Maryknoll sisters and dedicate her life to working as a missionary for God came as no real surprise to her family and friends. “What drove Maura toward the convent was not a desire for safety or rigidity,” writes investigative journalist Markey, “but a sense of purpose, a desire to do practical good in the world and to lead a life that was big, significant, meaningful.” In 1959, Clarke accepted her first posting in Siuna, Nicaragua, where the locals were fighting against abject poverty under the Somoza regime. After several years there, Clarke had a short stint back in the United States before being reassigned to El Salvador, another country whose residents were battling for freedom under a strict government. The author ably blends the personal story of Clarke’s life and dedication to her belief in God and her work with the changes in procedures that have taken place in the Catholic Church in the past 60 years as well as the political, cultural, and societal upheavals that Clarke experienced in the foreign countries to which she was assigned. The combination of elements brings excitement, tension, and compassion to an overlooked story that illuminates the courage and dedication of the sisters toward their fellow humans while highlighting the cruelty and senseless violence that have plagued Latin America for decades. For anyone interested in learning more about the multiple civil wars in Central America and the roles the American government and these Catholic sisters have had in encouraging change, this book is a great choice.
Rich details and solid storytelling convey one nun’s story of her dedication to God and her fellow humans.