Sr. Gilberte Bussiere, a member of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal, was freed June 1 after nearly two months of captivity. Register file photo.

Kidnapped Canadian nun freed in Cameroon

By 
  • June 1, 2014

A Canadian missionary nun taken hostage with two Italian priests in Cameroon has been freed.

Sr. Gilberte Bussiere, 74, a member of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal, was freed June 1 after nearly two months of captivity. Frs. Gianantonio Allegri and Giampaolo Marta were also freed.

There are few details as to the circumstances of their release.

The order's leadership team issued a statement expressing "great joy" at the news of the three religious' release. Bussiere was "reportedly in good health and she has been taken to Yaoundé" where the local leader of the congregation, Sr. Thelma Renaud, was to welcome her. She was also to meet with representatives of the Canadian High Commission.

Bussiere and the Italian priests had been taken in an overnight raid April 5. Men on motorcycles attacked their mission school seeking Westerners. It is believed they were abducted by Boko Haram, the terrorist organization believed to have also kidnapped almost 300 Nigerian girls a week later. An international military operation is continuing to help free the girls.

Bussiere was born in Asbestos, Que., and has worked in Cameroon since 1979. Before that she had taught in Quebec schools. She had lately stopped teaching but continued to tutor students.

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