|The killing of two Catholic nuns along a South Sudan highway Aug. 16 has shocked sisters and supporters throughout several African nations, Rome and the United States.
Srs. Mary Daniel Abut and Regina Roba were South Sudanese members of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in the Juba Archdiocese. They were in a bus returning to Juba with seven sisters and five men Aug. 16 after attending centenary celebrations at Loa Catholic parish in the eastern Diocese of Torit, according to a statement by Sr. Alice Jurugo Drajea, superior general of the congregation.
At the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a telegram to the chargés d’affaires at the Vatican Embassy to South Sudan, saying Pope Francis was “deeply saddened to learn of the brutal attack.” The pope offered condolences to the victims’ families and religious community and offered his prayers and blessing.
Abut had served as the superior general of the order from 2006 to 2018. She was head of the order’s Usratuna Primary School, which has more than 1,000 students in Juba.
Roba was from the Yei Diocese in Central Equatoria and was a nurse who served for many years in Loa Parish in the Torit Diocese, Juba Sacred Heart Health Centre and Alshaba Children’s hospital in Juba. She was at tutor at the Catholic Health Training Institute in Wau.
“In the two sisters the Congregation has lost great resource persons with excelling leadership qualities,” Drajea said in the statement. “May their innocent blood unite us in our Congregation more and bring peace to this country of South Sudan which has never known true peace. May their souls rest in God’s eternal Peace!”
Sr. Joan Mumaw, president and chief administrative officer for Friends in Solidarity, recalled meeting Abut once when Abut was cleaning the local chapel.
“A humble soul,” Sr Joan wrote in an email to Global Sisters Report. “Certainly she was well known to Solidarity as we work closely with the sisters and have helped to build the capacity of several sisters. I am very disheartened by this event.”
“Sister Regina will be greatly missed by the staff and students at the Catholic Health Training Institute in Wau where she was part of the staff training nurses and midwives,” Sr Joan added. The killings, she said, are “a tragedy for the whole church.”
Yesterday, a requiem mess for Sr Regina and Sr Mary was celebrated in the CHTI chapel.
May their souls rest in peace!
Announcement from the Sisters of Sacred Heart: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GDdnW0OP-NGkT6F9wqoN4YzacRKF2rP1/view?usp=sharing
Aug 17, 2021
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Descriptor: Rome Office