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Shock: more religious sisters kidnapped in Nigeria

Daniel Jedzura - Shutterstock

There has been no news out of Nigeria since the DMMM sisters were kidnapped Sunday, but my contact in California forwarded me this email about another incident:

The Eucharistic Heart Sisters in Benin City were visited late last night and [in the] early hours this morning by kidnappers. They took three professed sisters and four aspirants.
We really have to pray that they will be released in safety and good health alongside our DMMM sisters.
Fr. Simon Peter Okanumee, SMMM

A local report has essentially the same information, but no additional details.

Here’s some background about the Eucharistic Heart Sisters order:

Founded at the wake of the Nigerian civil war to be a sign of love, unity and forgiveness in a broken and divided world, our Founders intention is that we show through our lives in community that it is possible for people to come from different tribes and be able to live harmoniously together. As consecrated African women, we strive to integrate into our life all that is good, true and beautiful in our culture. We value our deep relationship with God through community and individual prayer inspired by our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Through our life in community, we support each other in our various ministries and celebrate our giftedness. We believe in respect for others and ourselves and therefore strive to treat all people with dignity and respect regardless of religion, class, tribe or culture, making our communities / houses places of hospitality where all can feel accepted.

OUR CHARISM calls us to experience and make all people aware of the redemptive love of Christ that binds us together as members of the one family of God and enhance the realization of Jesus’ prayer “That they may be one.” THE MOTTO of our Congregation is “UT UNUM SINT”. (Jn. 17:21). Marked by our sacrificial love and Christian humility and inspired by our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we respond to the needs of the Church as they come up and wherever they occur. We participate actively, especially in our local situations, working to eliminate the root causes of poverty, to empower our womenfolk, and work for the realization of peace, justice, love, and the unity of all God’s creation.

Please keep the prayers going. These are all women of peace, doing the work of the Prince of Peace, in a troubled and divided country. May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus hold them close and hasten their safe return.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

—Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque


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