Kenner nun found alive after being kidnapped on a missionary trip

Sister Suellen Tennyson was abducted five months ago and is now in US custody.

NEW ORLEANS – Sister Suellen Tennyson has always served her community. A Marianite nun, she was a teacher and headmistress before becoming a missionary in West Africa, but on the night of April 4 of this year, she was kidnapped by gunmen while on a missionary trip. As of tonight, her whereabouts and condition were unknown. On Tuesday, a Mariante parish leader said Sr. Suellen was alive and in US custody.

Sister Suellen traveled to the small West African country of Burkina Faso in 2014, where she established a church and medical clinic. At the time she was abducted, the head of the US Marianites Congregation told Eyewitness News that five people were in the home when men searched the home and set fire to their truck. Nurse Suellen was the only one kidnapped.

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Armed groups, some with links to extremists, have overrun large parts of the territory where Sister Suellen’s mission was located.

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Five months ago, Eyewitness News spoke to Sister Ann and Sister Renee Daigle, at the time they said: ‘They believed there were more than 10 men, we know they were armed. We know that Nurse Suellen was in her room, probably asleep, and that she was taken blindfolded, shoeless, without her cell phone.”

The Marinates of Holy Cross confirm Sister Suellen, 83, is safe and in US custody but would not comment further to protect her safety.

WWL policy analyst Clancy Dubos and Sister Suellen sat together on the board of directors at Holy Cross High School and said, “I remember her as someone who was very involved and very concerned, a very active board member.”

He continued, “It was just a great person to know. We were really so desperate when she was kidnapped… everyone is very excited to hear the news that she is safe.”

Sr. Ann Lacour told this Clarion Herald newspaper that she had phoned Nurse Suellen. Sister Ann says Sister Suellen is exhausted but alive and safe and that’s all that matters.

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Laura Coffey

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