ROME – During ceremonies marking Liberia’s Independence Day, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf honored five U.S. members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ murdered in 1992 during the country’s civil war.
The five nuns, all Illinois natives, were named grand commanders in the Order of the Star of Africa for their sacrifice for Liberia and for their “invaluable services to education” in the country before the war began.
The awards ceremony took place July 24 in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, according to information from the religious order’s offices in Rome.
The five women were killed in October 1992.
Information about the sisters on the order’s Web site said: “The exact circumstances of their deaths probably will never be known. It is believed that Sisters Barbara Ann Muttra and Mary Joel Kolmer were caught in the crossfire of an ambush as they drove one of their workers from Gardnersville to Barnersville on Oct. 20.
“Three days later soldiers of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia lined up Sisters Kathleen McGuire, Agnes Mueller, and Shirley Kolmer in front of their convent in Gardnersville. The soldiers then murdered them in cold blood,” according to the Web site.