Recommended reading

The Penal Laws in Ireland

The Penal Laws were in force from the time of Henry VIII, 1535, until 1829. The Treaty of Limerick, 1691, having been no sooner made than broken, new Penal Laws were enacted and all the old one reaffirmed.

In all official documents Catholicism was referred to as popery, a Catholic was a papist. A papist was forbidden to receive an education, to educate his child himself, to send his child to a Catholic teacher or employ a Catholic teacher to come to his child.

St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland

As a teenager, Patrick's home was somewhere along the western coast of Britain at a time when it was a colony of the Roman empire. He called himself both a Briton and a Roman. At age sixteen, he and a number of his father,s slaves were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Patrick was made to work as a shepherd. Living out in the open, the young boy suffered from hunger and cold.

Links to more information about the four martyrs represented by our Advent wreath

Here are some links which provide further background about the four women martyred in El Salvador 26 years ago. Our Advent wreath is a memorial to them.

Wikipedia entries:
Ita Ford
Dorothy Kazel
Jean Donovan
Maura Clarke

Maryknoll article commemorating the 20th anniversary of their martyrdom:
Martyrdom in El Salvador

America editorial by James Martin, S.J.:
Of Many Things

UN Sponsored Report of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador:
From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador

A Cleveland-based interfaith group with biographies and missions related to the four women:
The InterReligious Task Force on Central America

The Maura Clarke – Ita Ford Center in Brooklyn, New York

Archive of New York times article from 1998:
Salvadorans Who Slew American Nuns Now Say They Had Orders

More New York times articles (can be viewed using Lexis-Nexis at the UIUC library) search for ita ford

36th Annual Peace Bazaar coming up!

Mark your calendars, the Peace Bazaar is coming up! It is on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McKinley Presbyterian Church, 809 S. 5th, Champaign, Illinois (corner of 5th and John). St. Mary's is a sponsor of this event, and everyone is encouraged to pitch in and attend. From their website:

The Peace Bazaar is an annual community event, now in its 36th year, where we sell donated items to raise funds for peace and social justice causes. Some of the items we sell include gifts (new and recycled), household items, books, toys, plants, fresh-baked goods, gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, and much more. Last year, in 2005, the Peace Bazaar earned a record amount of proceeds, $5148, after expenses. We are hoping to earn even more for peace and social justice groups this year.

More details can be found at their website,

Some Forgotten Lessons

“Twenty-five years later, Americans have another opportunity to at last grasp the lessons taught by Archbishop Romero.”

An article by Jason R. Rowe on the parallels between El Salvador and Iraq appeared in America a few weeks ago.

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