New Orleans nun who was kidnapped in Africa returns home and shares her story of captivity

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – For the first time since being ripped from her bed in West Africa and held captive, we see and hear from Sister Suellen Tennyson.

“I feel wonderful, but the feeling that overwhelms me is the feeling of gratitude,” Sister Suellen said in a Clarion Herald video.

Sister Suellen is a Marianite from New Orleans who was abducted in Burkina Faso in April. She was held for five months before being found safely in Niger.

On August 31, Sister Suellen returned to the Archdiocese of New Orleans 20 pounds lighter. Two weeks later, the Clarion Herald, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, published the story of Sister Suellen Tennyson’s abduction.

She said that in April she was taken from her bed in Burkina Faso, blindfolded and gagged without her shoes, glasses or medicine.

She says her captors put her on the back of a motorbike and rode all night until she was handed over to another group who Sister Suellen said treated her reasonably well.

She claims to have been fed spaghetti, rice and sardines. Additionally, her captors provided her with a few pieces of paper and a pen which she used to mark her days in captivity.

Sister Suellen told the newspaper that she slept outside in a tent-like structure with branches and leaves for the roof. It ended when he was given a couch to sleep on.

At some point, Sister Suellen says she also contracted malaria.

In August, without warning, she was emotional again, but this time for the better. At the end of the trip, she says she was greeted by three men who told her she was free.

She was in the neighboring country of Niger and taken into custody by the FBI, the United States Embassy and the Air Force.

“Since I came back, all the medical staff have been helping me get back to good health,” Sister Suellen said. “My heart is filled with gratitude. I don’t know how to thank everyone.

She is happy to be home and honored by the support she has received.

“I always knew that my community, my family and my friends were praying, but now I find that there were thousands of people praying for me around the world,” Sister Suellen said. “I can’t even comprehend or find a way to express the gratitude that is in my heart for all the people who have prayed for me.”

Sister Suellen’s full story can be found here.

According to the Clarion Herald, Sister Suellen is slowly but surely regaining her strength.


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