NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — A Kenyan member of the Missionaries of Charity killed in an attack on a nursing home in Yemen was remembered during a memorial Mass as defending her Catholic faith at the time of her death.
Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau of Nairobi said in his homily April 16 at the Holy Family Minor Basilica that Sister Mary Judith, who was born Anastasia Kanini and was one of four women religious killed when gunmen stormed the nursing home, did not die in vain.
Directing his attention to the 62-year-old mother of the slain nun, Agnes Kasangi Kimutu, Bishop Kamau said, “Mother, do not worry about your daughter. She has gone to heaven and she could probably be interceding for us at this moment.”
The four Missionaries of Charity and 12 other people were killed by uniformed gunmen, who entered the home the sisters operate for the elderly and disabled in Aden.
The superior of the Missionaries of Charity at the home survived by hiding, according to the Vatican’s Fides news agency. Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian Salesian priest who had been living at the home since Holy Family Parish in Aden was sacked and burned in September, was missing after the attack.
The dead included two sisters from Rwanda, Sisters Mary Marguerite and Sister Mary Reginette, and Sister Mary Anselm of India.
The hundreds of people in attendance also prayed for Father Uzhunnalil.
“May the good Lord spare the life of Father Tom, who all along has been instrumental in the pastoral mission of the slain sisters at Aden, Yemen. May the captors do no harm to him and that may the good Lord shower him with freedom from the captors,” prayed a nun during the prayers of the faithful.
Prayers also were offered for another Kenyan Catholic nun, Sister Mary Carmeline, a Missionary of Charity who was born as Bernadette Nzembi and hailed from the Makueni, the same hometown as Sister Mary Judith. Sister Mary Carmeline was killed in Sierra Leone in 1999 during the country’s 11-year civil war as she prepared food for hundreds of people displaced by the violence.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103