An 83-year-old nun living at a parish in Burkina Faso, Africa, was abducted by armed hijackers. The kidnapping took place in Yalgo, a town in northern Burkina Faso.

According to officials with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the nun, Marianite Sister Suellen Tennyson, had been stationed as a missionary in Yalgo since 2014. She is originally from New Orleans.

Sister Ann Lacour, the Marianite Congregational Leader currently stationed in France, said Sr. Tennyson was taken in the middle of the night on Tuesday, April 5. She has not been seen or heard from since.

“In her nightclothes. No shoes, no glasses, no medication, no phone. And she was blindfolded,” Sr. Lacour said.
Now she is working with investigators in Paris, Rome, and Burkina Faso.

“The U.S. Embassy of Burkina Faso calls us at least twice a day,” said Sr. Lacour. “They definitely want to keep this alive and want this to end as soon as possible.”

Her family and friends back home in New Orleans, like Marianite Sister Marjorie Hebert, are rallying prayer and support for Sr. Tennyson.

“We’re doing our part to cooperate, trusting that all of this is going to ultimately bring Suellen home safely. And home for Suellen right now is Burkina Faso,” said Sr. Hebert.

She said Sr. Tennyson lived in the Yalgo parish of Burkina Faso since 2014, serving as support to medical staff in the community. Those close to her describe Sr. Suellen as the face of compassion.

“That call to her was there. It came late in her Marianite vocation but that’s firm to her. So that’s her home,” she said. “When she left to go there back in 2014, she made it very clear to us that love her and cherish her friendship; ‘I’m gonna work there. I’ll die there. And I’ll be buried there.’”

“We truly believe she will be found and we do believe. We’re holding on to that and God’s great grace she’ll be ok,” said Sr. Lacour.

Please join ICC in prayer for Sr. Suellen’s safety and release from her captives.