We are so grateful for the many prayers and words of comfort and support we are receiving from around the world as we mourn the loss of Paula Merrill, SCN, and Margaret Held, SSSF. We are in shock and continue to grieve as we attempt to absorb this news.

It was only last weekend that Sister Paula had visited the Motherhouse in Nazareth, Kentucky. We remember her loving spirit and compassionate care for those she served.

Sister Margaret, a longtime friend and partner in ministry with Sister Paula, ministered with the people of Mississippi since the early 1980s.

Our mission statement calls us to risk our lives and resources as we work for justice in solidarity with oppressed people. These Sisters did exactly that.

We join in prayer with all Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the School Sisters of St. Francis, the families of Sister Paula and Sister Margaret, their coworkers, St. Thomas Parish, the people of Durant, Mississippi, and all who will miss their loving presence. We pray for all whose lives have been touched by violence.

Paula Merrill, SCN, and Margaret Held, SSSF, will be honored by the community in Mississippi where they served and lived for so many years. Memorial arrangements in Mississippi are as follows:

A wake service will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 200 Boulevard Street in Lexington, Mississippi, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m.

A memorial Mass will be held on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, 123 N West Street in Jackson, Mississippi.

Funeral arrangements at Nazareth, Kentucky, will be communicated as soon as they become available.