History

Back to Liberia

By Cheryl Wittenauer

Five missionaries in their Liberia home

We go in twos to try to understand the impact of the five.

Two Adorers, two ASC Associates and two Newman University students are traveling to Liberia on a pilgrimage that marks the 25th anniversary of the death of our five missionary sisters in October 1992.

Two were ambushed on a road they traveled on Oct. 20 that year. Three others were shot to death three days later in front of their convent.

For long-suffering Liberians,

Remembering a ‘Soul-Mate Aunt’

Shirley Kolmer 261
Sister Shirley Kolmer, ASC

Diane Shirley Kolmer so loved and admired her “soul-mate aunt,” Sister Shirley Kolmer, that she adopted the legal middle name, “Shirley,” when her aunt and four other missionary sisters were killed in Liberia in October 1992.

Now 62, the retired Des Moines, Iowa, lobbyist had grown up admiring and emulating Sister Shirley, whom she described as a “born leader,” a “force of nature” who was “ridiculously smart” and “so damn funny.”

“She was my soul-mate aunt,” she said. “She was who I wanted to be when I grew up.

Our Missionary Sister Martyrs Remembered

martyrs-sculpture_ruma
Memorial of the Martyrs of Charity outside the Adorers’ Ruma Center in Ruma, Illinois

Today begins 12 days of remembering our missionary Sisters who died this month, 24 years ago in Liberia, during that African nation’s brutal civil war.

Adorers had been in Liberia since 1970 educating girls, working in health care and doing other ministries. They had come at the invitation of the SMA Fathers, Society of African Missions, based in Tenafly, N.J., who begged the Sisters to come. Many did.

But in the 1980s, as the war heated up,

VIDEO: In remembrance of the Martyrs of Charity

On this day in 1992, two Adorers were killed by rebel forces on the road between Gardnersville and Barnersville, Liberia. They were two of five sisters serving in Liberia during the country’s Civil War. Three days later, the final three sisters would be shot outside of their convent.

After the recent death of Sister Toni Cusimano, letters were found in her possession that were some of the last letters received by the missionary sisters, sent in March 1992.

This week, on the anniversary of their death, we hear the echo of their voices and consider the ways we have been altered by the loss of these women.

14 years later: September 11th

New York Twin Towers, pre 9/11, images from freeimages.com

September 11 always evokes powerful memories in the lives of those of us in the United States. Who can forget the images of buildings being destroyed out of hatred and vengeance? Who can forget the silent skies over us in the next days as planes were grounded and the country grappled with the horror of terrorism. But September 11 was also a day of great heroism, a day when so many people put aside their differences and rushed to help each other, often at great risk to themselves. There was an outpouring of care and compassion,

Remembering Srebrenica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre

U.S. Adorers of the Blood of Christ join the world community in marking an atrocity 20 years ago this week, in July 1995. That’s when thousands of Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

The massacre of innocents by a Serbian paramilitary unit has been called the worst human rights atrocity in Europe since World War II.  In addition, tens of thousands of Bosnian women, children and elderly were forcibly removed; women were raped.

Thousands of survivors of the Bosnian War ended up in St.

Quills and Keyboards

By Sr. Janet McCann, ASC

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Acuto, Italy, where my community, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, was founded by St. Maria De Mattias in 1834. (Learn more about the Adorers’ foundress and history here.)

I was there to help review proposals for funding formation and ministry projects for Adorers throughout the world, and to disburse funding. But I also found time to enjoy the beauty all around those of us gathered at the meeting.

The visit offered lots of contrasting images:

#ThowbackThursday: Richie pays a visit

By ASC Sisters Janet Sue Smith and Rose Therese Bahr

In April, a young man, Richard Nesbitt, came to our Wichita Center to install a handicapped door. When he had finished, he said he and his siblings had lived briefly with the Sisters in Wichita when our community ran an emergency child care program.

Sr. Terrie Ann Lewis started the program in 1972 after learning of the need in Wichita, and all of the sisters bought in to her dream. We served 1,700 children – about 150 a year – over the program’s 10-year life.

Joan Range Honored at St. Louis University

Range JSr. Joan Range, ASC, who died Thursday, May 7, 2015, is being honored Friday, May 8, for co-founding the Women’s and Gender Studies Department of Saint Louis University.

Sr. Joan will receive the university’s annual Founders Award for 2015 along with Dr. Judith Gibbons, for their work in establishing the program. Women’s and Gender Studies became a department this year and in the Fall will launch a master’s degree program.

The two will be honored at a celebration of faculty and students.

Sr. Maria Hughes and Sr. Janet McCann will be present at the award celebration at Saint Louis University on May 8.

March to Montgomery: A Sister Remembers

On this day, March 25, in 1965, five Adorers of the Blood of Christ from Ruma, Ill., joined thousands of civil-rights demonstrators in the last leg of the march from Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., all in the name of racial justice and voting rights for African Americans.

 

Here’s part of what Sister Mary Pius (Mary Simpson) recorded from that historic day:

For ten to twelve blocks we marched through friendly, Negro areas. We sang and waved and smiled. The Negroes lining the streets and standing on their porches joined us,