Louisianna nun found alive - five months after she was 'kidnapped' in Africa

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By Carina Murphy

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A Louisiana nun has been found alive - five months after she was reportedly kidnapped from her bed in Africa.

Marianite Sister Suellen Tennyson was staying at a convent in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, last April when she was allegedly taken captive by at least 10 armed men during an attack.

A report from the FBI read at the time of her disappearance: "Suellen Theresa Tennyson, an American citizen and Nun living and working in Burkina Faso, was kidnapped by armed gunmen in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, on April 4, 2022."

"Tennyson may potentially be located in Burkina Faso, Mali, or Niger. She is reportedly near-blind in her left eye due to cataracts and she may wear glasses," the FBI's release added.

According to a report by The Clarion Herold, the 83-year-old nun is now safe - though she has not yet returned home to the United States.

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Credit: FBI

Marianite leader Sister Ann Lacour told the outlet "she is safe," adding: "She is on American soil, but not in America. She is safe. She was recovered [Monday] morning. We have spoken to her. She eventually will get back to the United States."

Sister Ann went on to say that the recovered nun is "totally worn out", and that she had the chance to speak to her over the phone.

"I told her how much people love her, and she doesn't have anything to worry about. I told her, 'You are alive and safe. That's all that matters'," she recalled.

Sister Suellen's alleged kidnapping was first reported by the Marianites in an alert issued on April 6, which read: "There were about 10 men who came during the night while the sisters were sleeping. They destroyed almost everything in the house, shot holes in the new truck, and tried to burn it. The house itself is OK, but its contents are ruined."

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Credit: FBI

Younger nuns told Sister Ann that Sister Suellen had been abducted from her bed with "no glasses, shoes, phone, medicine, etc."

Per NBC News, the kidnapping came at a time of escalating violence and jihadi attacks in Burkino Faso.

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Roman Catholic Cathedral in Burkina Faso. Credit: Friedrich Stark / Alamy

Over five months later, the State Department announced that the 83-year-old nun has been recovered. A spokesperson said they were "pleased to confirm the release of a U.S. citizen in Niger who had been held hostage in West Africa, and to share that this individual will soon be reunited with loved ones."

Meanwhile, The Marianites of the Holy Cross celebrated Sister Suellen's safety in a Facebook post, writing: "Yes, it's true! Sr. Suellen has been recovered!"

They went on to explain that the sisterhood was working alongside the FBI to facilitate her re-entry process. "We are so very grateful for ALL the prayers and support these past 5 months," they wrote, adding: "We now ask you to pray for Suellen's complete renewal of body, mind and spirit."

Featured Image Credit: jvphoto / Alamy

Louisianna nun found alive - five months after she was 'kidnapped' in Africa

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A Louisiana nun has been found alive - five months after she was reportedly kidnapped from her bed in Africa.

Marianite Sister Suellen Tennyson was staying at a convent in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, last April when she was allegedly taken captive by at least 10 armed men during an attack.

A report from the FBI read at the time of her disappearance: "Suellen Theresa Tennyson, an American citizen and Nun living and working in Burkina Faso, was kidnapped by armed gunmen in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, on April 4, 2022."

"Tennyson may potentially be located in Burkina Faso, Mali, or Niger. She is reportedly near-blind in her left eye due to cataracts and she may wear glasses," the FBI's release added.

According to a report by The Clarion Herold, the 83-year-old nun is now safe - though she has not yet returned home to the United States.

size-large wp-image-1263167400
Credit: FBI

Marianite leader Sister Ann Lacour told the outlet "she is safe," adding: "She is on American soil, but not in America. She is safe. She was recovered [Monday] morning. We have spoken to her. She eventually will get back to the United States."

Sister Ann went on to say that the recovered nun is "totally worn out", and that she had the chance to speak to her over the phone.

"I told her how much people love her, and she doesn't have anything to worry about. I told her, 'You are alive and safe. That's all that matters'," she recalled.

Sister Suellen's alleged kidnapping was first reported by the Marianites in an alert issued on April 6, which read: "There were about 10 men who came during the night while the sisters were sleeping. They destroyed almost everything in the house, shot holes in the new truck, and tried to burn it. The house itself is OK, but its contents are ruined."

size-large wp-image-1263167401
Credit: FBI

Younger nuns told Sister Ann that Sister Suellen had been abducted from her bed with "no glasses, shoes, phone, medicine, etc."

Per NBC News, the kidnapping came at a time of escalating violence and jihadi attacks in Burkino Faso.

wp-image-1263167381 size-full
Roman Catholic Cathedral in Burkina Faso. Credit: Friedrich Stark / Alamy

Over five months later, the State Department announced that the 83-year-old nun has been recovered. A spokesperson said they were "pleased to confirm the release of a U.S. citizen in Niger who had been held hostage in West Africa, and to share that this individual will soon be reunited with loved ones."

Meanwhile, The Marianites of the Holy Cross celebrated Sister Suellen's safety in a Facebook post, writing: "Yes, it's true! Sr. Suellen has been recovered!"

They went on to explain that the sisterhood was working alongside the FBI to facilitate her re-entry process. "We are so very grateful for ALL the prayers and support these past 5 months," they wrote, adding: "We now ask you to pray for Suellen's complete renewal of body, mind and spirit."

Featured Image Credit: jvphoto / Alamy