“Why Can’t I Just Be Your Little Suburban Housewife?”

Jean Donovan

Jean Donovan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it was as you said, Jean, your God called you away from an ordinary suburban life to something bigger than life.

However, you left a broken-hearted fiancé, standing frozen with only a devastated heart longing only to drop the groceries we just bought and stop you from going to El Salvador.

Your God called. I could only watch you walk away.

All the goodness that was in you still lives bright in my memory, Jean, from your volunteer work with the Cleveland Diocese Poor Youth Ministry to the Diocesan Mission Project in El Salvador.

So dedicated were you to help those in need, you completed the lay-missionary course at Maryknoll in New York State and was quite anxious to help the refugees of the Salvadoran Civil War, providing shelter, food, and medical care.

However, you also wanted a family as you wrote:

“…I sit there and talk to God and say, ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t I just be your little suburban housewife?’

In all honesty, my selfishness wanted your goodness to stay here with me.

You tried to follow your desires saying, “several times I have decided to leave–I almost could except for the children…Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine.”

On December 2, 1980, five brutal Salvadoran soldiers decided the light of goodness over El Salvador was not welcomed, and in “a relatively isolated area,” they beat, raped and murdered you, and three nun companions.

Your God called you home, Jean Donovan. Twenty-seven is too young to have your goodness extinguished.

As Martyrs of El Salvador, blessed are we the living for their self less life in helping those suffering, especially the children, from the devastating effects of civil war.

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This post is part fiction and part true to life. The bold italic print is my imagination as seen from Jean Donovan’s young physician fiancé viewpoint.

Jean was not only to be married but, also, gave up a management consultant career with a nationwide accounting firm before deciding that El Salvador was where God wanted her to be.

Can you imagine giving up a relatively safe life for dangerous missionary work? If this is the stuff we have to give up, you know, sacrifice, to become living saints, I can see why there are so few on the road.

Do you think this was an easy choice for Jean Donovan to make…wanting so badly to be married and be offered a great career position as well? 

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