Catholic World News News Feature

Burial in Kenya for nun killed in Somalia September 21, 2006

Sister Leonella Sgorbita, the nun who was shot dead in Somalia on September 17, was laid to rest in Nazareth Hospital Cemetery near Nairobi, Kenya, according to her wish. Sister Sgorbita died soon after a gunmen shot her seven times from the back, also killing her body guard, Mohammoud Mahammed, before fleeing the scene. At a funeral Mass celebrated for a large and emotional congregation in Nairobi, Bishop Georgio Bertini said Sister Sgorbita had chosen to stay in Somalia, despite the dangers, because she was stirred by the idea that a new world had begun. "We think this a world where there is only death, where there is no hope," he said. "But while looking again at her face-- still serene, still with a kind of naive smile-- I think she is telling us another world is possible."

Archbishop John Njue, the chairman of the Kenyan episcopal conference, issued a message confirming that Sister Sgorbita had wanted to remain in Somalia, serving at a hospital that served a desperately poor community, because she was excited about her mission. The Italian-born nun had "spent her entire life in the selfless service of the sick, poor, and the needy," he said, adding that her example was "an encouragement to those who wish to follow Christ in the journey of faith."

Sister Leonella Sgorbati, nee Rosa, was born in Gazzola, Piacenza, Italy, on December 9, 1940. She joined the Consolata Missionary Sisters in San Fre, Cuneo, in May 1963 and took her perpetual vows on November 19, 1972.?