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The last letter from Sister Dorothy Kazel, slain last...

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio -- The last letter from Sister Dorothy Kazel, slain last week in El Salvador, to her fellow nuns in Pepper Pike said the country was in turmoil and 'daily faces the loss of so many of its people, and yet (is) a country that is waiting, hoping and yearning for peace.'

A memorial mass for Sister Kazel was held at the Ursuline convent in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike, Ohio, Tuesday.

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'This has united us in a sense that I've never felt before,' said Sister M. Bartholomew McCaffrey, general superior for the order. 'Dorothy is our sister, but her death has made this universal.'

Auxiliary Cleveland Bishops Gilbert I. Sheldon, James A. Griffin and James P. Lyke officiated at the mass. Sister Kazel's funeral mass will be held Wednesday night, with Bishop Anthony M. Pilla the principal celebrant.

The Ursuline order helped staff the mission in El Salvador, which was opened by Diocesan officials 16 years ago. Sister Kazel, 41, went to the country in 1974.

Her last letter, which arrived at the convent Dec. 1, said, 'What does December bring for us here in El Salvador? It will bring the advent season -- a time of waiting, a time of hoping, a time of yearning.'

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The letter continued, 'The steadfast faith and courage our leaders have to continue preaching the word of the Lord, even though it may mean 'laying down your life' for your fellow man in the very real sense is always a point of admiration and a most vivid realization that Jesus is here with us.'

Diocesan officials have scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference -- with several members of the mission who returned with Sister Kazel's body -- to discuss the state of affairs in the embattled Central American country.

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