The wonderful Benedictine nuns of Gower Abbey in Missouri have lately been victims of extremely dangerous… I am not making this up… drive by shootings.
Drive by shootings.
Let that sink in.
The police are investigating.
Shots were fired at the abbey church and even, among other, went into the Abbess’ sleeping cell.
The sisters now are faced with putting up some sort of wall or fence.
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The sisters sent out a note via email. It included:
Dear Family, Friends and Benefactors,
It seems that the news of a recent incident at our Abbey is quickly spreading, as we have received a great many emails in these past few days, assuring us of prayers and support. We send this message to disseminate the correct information and to assure you all of our safety!On March 24th, just after 11:00 pm, loud gunshots were heard by many Sisters in the Abbey. Some of the Sisters arose, but soon returned to sleep, as we have sadly become desensitized on account of the many incidents of inappropriate activity around our monastery. In the morning, Mother Abbess discovered two bullet holes in her bedroom. A bullet had entered through the exterior wall, punched a hole beneath the Sacred Heart picture, and continued to penetrate through the wall directly opposite, being stopped by shower wall on its other side. Mother Abbess was sleeping several feet from the bullet’s trajectory.
Law enforcement officers were here making the report and looking for evidence for many hours the next day, the Feast of the Annunciation. It was determined that the shots were fired from 316th Street, just to the west of our front gate. The event in Mother Abbess’ cell was the third this Lent, however, with other bullet holes observed by the police in the door jamb of the dining room next to the Abbey church, and in the stone of the church itself. As of now, there are no leads, though the local sheriffs are working diligently to find the perpetrator. They are also maintaining extra surveillance around our area.
Though this has been rather unsettling, we are all very much at peace. These types of situations, while very disturbing, are exceedingly good reminders to heed St. Benedict’s words to “keep death daily before ones eyes.” That does not mean we won’t take necessary precautions for better security. Indeed, we have long desired more privacy and protection, as our monastery sits at the intersection of two country roads. We are in the process of selecting tall fencing or sturdy wall panels to protect our buildings on this northeast section of our property, including our gardens where the Sisters work every day.
Unfortunately, this involves about 3000 feet of fencing, and you can imagine the cost is not negligible. If you are able to support this endeavor with a monetary gift, we would be deeply grateful. The total cost will most likely be over $200,000.
Thank you so much for your ongoing prayers and support. We wish you all a most blessed Holy Week, and a glorious Easter to follow. You are in our hearts and prayers during these holiest of days.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles