NEW YORK (CNS) — Four Daughters of St. Anne sisters — including the provincial superior — were killed in a crash about 80 miles south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Catholic Near East Welfare Association reported.

Four other sisters were traveling in the van when it was hit by a truck en route to Hawassa March 7; one remained in critical condition, CNEWA reported March 8.

Msgr. John E. Kozar, president of CNEWA, had visited the sisters in April 2016.


“The news of the traffic death of four sisters in Ethiopia, the Daughters of St. Anne, touches our hearts and souls very deeply,” Msgr. Kozar said March 7. “Having met the superior and many of the sisters in previous pastoral visits, I know the church of Ethiopia has lost some very devoted servants.”

“To their community and the entire church of Ethiopia and its people, we offer our collective prayers and support. May God welcome these servants into his heavenly kingdom,” he said.

The dead provincial was Sister Weinshet Gebru. Also killed were Sisters Motu Baba, Hanna Bekute, and Gedena Weldu.

The Daughters of St. Anne have served in Ethiopia and Eritrea for more than 50 years. They run schools, health facilities, cutting and sewing schools, vocational training centers, orphanages, and a school for the visually impaired. They partnered with Catholic Near East Welfare Association on several projects.