American Nun Kidnapped in Africa Freed 5 Months Later, 'Thanks Be to God'

An 83-year-old American nun who was kidnapped in April in Africa has been freed and is in American hands.

Sister Suellen Tennyson, a member of the Marianites of Holy Cross, was kidnapped on April 4 in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, according to NBC.

Her order said she was now in U.S. custody in Niamey, the capital of Niger, The Times-Picayune reported.

“Thanks be to God!!!” the Archdiocese of New Orleans posted on its Facebook page.

Sister Ann Lacour, congregational leader of the Marianites, confirmed to the Clarion Herald, the media outlet for the archdiocese, that Tennyson had been freed.

“She is safe,” Lacour said.

“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,” Lecour said.

Lacour said Tennyson was unsure where she was held during her captivity.

“She’s totally worn out,” Lecour said.

“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 said.

The Clarion Herald said there had been no news of Tennyson since her abduction, which came when a group of armed men attacked the convent where she lived.

“There were about 10 men who came during the night while the sisters were sleeping,” Lecour said in April. “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.”

Lecour said Tennyson was taken with “no glasses, shoes, phone, medicine, etc.”

Lecour said Tennyson was serving as a pastoral minister “to wipe tears, give hugs, import a smile. She really did support the people that work in the clinic that the parish runs.”

“I’m so thrilled,” said Ruby Faucheux Keefe, 85, a longtime friend of Tennyson, who said that Tennyson had expressed a love for Africa when they talked last.

“She told me she didn’t have hot water,” Keefe said. “I thought I don’t know how she did it at our age, but she loved it.”

Tennyson is a former teacher and principal at multiple Louisiana Catholic schools.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.