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Abbess Dies in Quake

Monday, April 06, 2009 3:17 PM Comments (0)

A couple embrace near the ruins of their house the village of Onna, Italy. (CNS/Reuters)

The Adnkronos news agency has reported that Sister Gemma Antonucci, abbess of the Poor Clare nuns of the convent of Santa Chiara of Paganica, died in today’s earthquake in Italy.

According to the Adnkronos report, rescuers were trying to remove debris from another nun thought to be trapped in the collapsed building.

Adnkronos also reported as follows:

According to SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops, Don Dionisio Umberto Rodriguez Cuartas, pastor of the 5,000 inhabitants of Paganica and director of Caritas L’Aquila, said: ‘‘There are at least three deaths in the parish, but I fear the number will rise because ‘the old’ part of the town has completely collapsed. It wasn’t possible to enter the great church and I do not know what happened, but the other five churches were all damaged. The roof of the convent of Poor Clares collapsed and we’re not able to remove another sister from the rubble.’‘

Today’s Italian earthquake, which is known to have claimed at least 92 lives, was particularly damaging because it took place at night when most people were asleep at home.

Filed under earthquake, italy

About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin