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Remembering the Liberian Martyrs

Fr. Joseph Nassal, C.PP.S

Blood of Christ, Courage of Martyrs, Save Us

On November 1, the feast of All Saints, we heard John's familiar vision from the book of Revelation. "Who do you think these are, all dressed in white? And where have they come from?" Our answer that day included these names: Sr. Barbara Ann Muttra, Sr. Mary Joel Kolmer, Sr. Shirley Kolmer, Sr. Kathleen McGuire, Sr. Agnes Mueller. These Adorers of the Blood of Christ, the novices, and countless others who have died in Liberia "are the ones who have survived the great period of trial; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

On the morning of October 31 when I first heard the National Public Radio report saying that five American nuns were murdered in Liberia, I recalled that the ASCs from Ruma had a mission in that country named for freedom. But no more. They are all dead. Now their blood is on our hearts, our minds, our memories, our lives.

Information about the killings was difficult to get that day since presidential politics and polls dominated the headlines. But then I saw Sr. Mildred Gross, ASC, provincial of the Ruma Adorers, at a press conference talking about these martyrs of her community. And Sr. Mary Ann Mueller, ASC, reflecting on her sister's commitment to the poor.

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