Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic World News

2 nuns murdered in Mississippi

August 26, 2016

Two religious sisters were found stabbed to death on August 25 in their residence in Durant, Mississippi.

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Sister Margaret Held, a School Sister of St. Francis, and Sister Paula Merrill, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth, worked as nurse practitioners and provided a quarter of the medical care in their rural county, according to the Associated Press.

Police have not given any indication of a motive for the killings.

“These sisters have spent years of dedicated service here in Mississippi,” Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson said in a statement. “They absolutely loved the people in their community.”

“My heart is broken for the two families and friends of these treasured souls,” said Gov. Phil Bryant.

Delbert Hosemann, the state’s Secretary of State, added:

Unbridled love and care for mankind has been met with unparalleled savagery.  These faithful nuns worked tirelessly at the Lexington Medical Clinic to make the Holmes County community and Mississippi a better place to live. We hope justice will be swiftly served.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Aug. 27, 2016 3:35 PM ET USA

    Expect this to be classified as workplace violence.

  • Posted by: WNS3234 - Aug. 26, 2016 10:53 PM ET USA

    During the Civil War, the Sisters nursed wounded and dying soldiers on both sides in military hospitals in Kentucky. The work of this congregation, along with many other religious sisters and brothers, is a part of Southern history during the Confederacy. Their Catholic witness was and remains heroic.

  • Posted by: kgdoyle - Aug. 26, 2016 10:19 PM ET USA

    The Lord commands that we forgive, for "They know not what they do." My Father, I don't know how. The fury is raging inside of me. Show me the way.