Missionary

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’

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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.

Credible Witnesses: A Reflection on the ASC Liberia Martyrs

It has been 22 years since ASC sisters were martyred during the Liberian Civil War. In honor, we revisit a reflection written by Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the deaths of the Martyrs and published in Review for Religious, October 2007.

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October 20, 1992—Rebel soldiers shoot Mary Joel Kolmer, ASC and Barbara
Ann Muttra, ASC, their guard Peter, and two ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Cease Fire Monitoring Group) soldiers on a stretch of road to Barnersville,Liberia,