I got word of this late today from my friend Msgr. Gerard Lopez, Vicar General for the Diocese of San Bernardino. The religious order involved—the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy—works in his diocese.
Here’s the email he forwarded from the order, asking for prayers:
Praise be to Jesus!
Please we have just been informed that our Rev. Mother, Mother Angeleen Umezurike, Srs. Amabilis Onuoha, and Kate Nweke, together with their driver was kidnapped this evening (Nigerian Time) on their way to Abuja.
We are requesting for prayers and booking of Masses from every community and individual sisters for their safety and immediate release.
Another communication from the order, sent to the bishop, noted:
We do not know yet who are responsible for this terrible act and the hoodlums have not yet indicated what they want for their release. All the sisters are praying seriously for God’s intervention and for their immediate release. Thank you for your prayers for them.
I haven’t found any news reports on this story yet, but it appears to have happened sometime Sunday afternoon.
Mother Angeleen is shown below, in an image from the order’s website.
The charism of DMMM congregation is based on the merciful love of God towards his people especially the poor. Imitating this divine attribute of God, the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy bear witness to his merciful love for his creatures with acts of compassion, forgiveness and kindness. DMMM sisters show mercy as compassion by loving the poor and underprivileged and caring for them in hospitals, schools, homes, orphanages, centers, etc. they live out mercy as forgiveness by excusing one another’s faults; seeking and accepting reconciliation from those who have wronged them; promoting peace and harmony in whatever field of apostolate they are engaged in. They practice mercy as kindness by offering Christ-like hospitality to all who cross their paths, being tender-hearted towards one another, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows and giving fraternal correction to one another.
Please pray for these women, their driver, and their community. They are women committed to peace and mercy, tenderness and compassion; forgiveness is the cornerstone of their charism.
Tonight, my prayer is for their safe return, and I bring this intention to the Mother who is their patroness and their hope:
Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them…
UPDATE: The sisters have been freed. Read all about it here.