Sister Martha Owen is an Ursuline Sister. She served as mission partner to Sr. Dorothy Kazel in El Salvador from 1976 to 1979. In this interview, Sr. Martha discusses her childhood and her decision to enter the convent as well as her mission work in El Salvador. She worked in several villages including La Union, Zaragoza, and La Libertad. She goes into detail regarding the living conditions of the people of El Salvador as well as the conditions she, and the rest of the mission team had to adapt to. Sr. Martha recounts numerous stories of the people she served and the oppressive conditions of the military junta. Sr. Martha discusses in detail the impact that Archbishop Oscar Romero had in El Salvador and Sr. Dorothy’s decision to stay on, in the wake of his assassination. She also discusses the events leading up to her death, along with the three other women who were raped and murdered on 2 December 1980, and the role that Ambassador Robert White played in making sure Sr. Dorothy, Jean Donovan, Sr. Ita Ford, and Sr. Maura Clarke received the justice they deserved. Sr. Martha also voices her own opinion on the role of religion and faith in the development of Cleveland, Ohio.


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Owen, Martha (interviewee)


Randt, Naomi A. (interviewer)


Protest Voices



Document Type

Oral History


73 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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