Pope Francis sends condolences for 3 Missionary Sisters Killed in Burundi
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent telgrams expressing his condolences for the violent deaths of three Xaverian missionary sisters in Burundi. Signed by the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the first telegram is addressed to Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye of Bujumbura, Burundi, and express the Holy Father's sorrow at hearing of the murders and his spiritual closeness to the victims' community, to their families and the whole Bujumbura archdiocese. The second telegram is addressed to Sister Ines Frizza, Superior General of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary.
Originally written in French, the Vatican Information Service translation of the telegrams follow:
To Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye of Bujumbura, Burundi
His Holiness Pope Francis has learned with great sadness of the murder of three nuns, Sister Bernadetta Bogiann, Sister Lucia Pulici and Sister Olga Raschietti, who were in the pastoral service of the parish of Saint Guido Maria Conforti in Bujumbura. The Holy Father begs the Lord to welcome into his kingdom of peace and light these three faithful and devout nuns. In these tragic circumstances, he expresses his closeness to their religious community, to the families of the victims, and the entire diocesan community. He imparts the comfort of a heartfelt and affectionate Apostolic blessing to all those affected by their sudden loss. I join the Holy Father in offering my condolences and wish to assure those close to the departed Sisters of my fervent prayers.
The second telegram reads:
To Sister Ines Frizza, Superior General of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary
Deeply saddened by the tragic death of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters killed in Burundi, the Holy Father wishes to assure his heartfelt participation in the profound suffering of the Congregation for the loss of such dedicated sisters and, in the hope that the blood they have shed may become the seed of hope to build true fraternity between peoples, raises fervent prayers for the eternal repose of their souls and for their generous witness of the Gospel. To their families, the entire Institute and those who mourn their loss, he imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing. Shared from Radio Vaticana
Three Xaverian Missionaries killed in Burundi: the mission is full of people anxious to express sympathy with the sisters
Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) – Three Italian Xaverian sisters have been killed in Burundi, at the mission of Kamenge. The news was confirmed to Fides by Sister Giordana, Directress General of the Xaverian missionary sisters in the Italian city of Parma. “Last night a third nun was killed, she was Sister Bernardetta Bogian. The other two Sr Lucia Pulici and Sr Olga Raschietti , were killed yesterday afternoon: they were the only Sisters in the house at the time. When the others returned they found the two sisters lying dead on the floor ” the Sister general said.
Sr Giordana explained what happened: “Last night 4 Sisters slept at the convent. Perhaps the room belonging to Sr Bernardetta was the only one which the murderer or murderers found unlocked. The sisters felt relatively safe knowing that policemen were stationed outside the house. At a certain point during the night the sisters heard a cry. They used mobile telephones to communicate with one another and to inform the Xaverian fathers in nearby mission. When the fathers arrived they and the sisters realised that the only sister missing was Sr Bernardetta. They went to her room and found her dead. This second murder was distinct from the first in the afternoon but the method was the same. We think the crimes were committee by the same person. We think this was done by some psychopath”.
The sister remarked “we are deeply shocked and astonished. The local people are as shocked as we are and the mission is full of people anxious to express sympathy with the sisters”.
Sr Giordana said this about the three dead sisters: “all three were elderly and had just returned to Burundi to be with their people”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 8/9/2014)