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Slovakian nun killed in gun attack in South Sudan

By Sarah Mac Donald - 22 May, 2016

Sr Veronika Terézia Racková,

A Slovakian nun who was killed in a gun attack in South Sudan earlier in the week, gave her life and death for the people of the world’s youngest country, her religious order has said.

Sr Veronika Terezia Rackova was working as a nurse when she was shot in the waist on Monday in the southern town of Yei as she drove to a nearby hospital with a patient.

She suffered multiple fractures of the pelvis in the ambush and after undergoing two operations at the local hospital, she was taken by helicopter to Kenya for further surgery.

A member of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters (SSpS), Sr Racková was head of St Bakhita’s Medical Centre in Yei in South Sudan.

In the past she served in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Britain, Indonesia, and Ghana.

On their website, the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters asked for prayers for their Sister “that her blood and death will be like a seed sown for greater peace to the people in South Sudan and the whole world.”

According to media reports in South Sudan, the authorities have detained three suspects.

Yei River State Information Minister Stephen Lodu Onesimo condemned the incident as an “undisciplined and barbarian act”, adding that the attackers “must be brought to justice”, TASR reported.

Six SSpS nuns are serving in South Sudan, mainly in the Yei Diocese. One of them, Sr Jerly told CNS the congregation did not plan to leave the area.

“On the contrary, we would like to continue giving services to the needy people of this great country of South Sudan,” she said, adding, “Some of our sisters are right now tormented over the incident, but we plan to continue to carry our badly needed services by the needy people of this country.”

Sr Rackova will be buried in Kenya and Divine Word priests are expected to perform the funeral ceremonies.

The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters minister in 47 countries around the world.

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