Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fr. Michael Sinnott

 Columban Father Michael Sinnott was kidnapped October 11, 2009 around 7:30 p.m. (local time) from outside his home in Pagadian City, Mindanao, as he was taking an evening stroll in the garden.

As house employees were closing the gate to the Columban House in Pagadian City on October 11 2009, a man pushed his way through saying he wanted to talk to a priest. Then three or four heavily armed men appeared, forcing the gate and dragging 79-year-old Irish Columban Father Michael Sinnott from the garden into a white pickup truck, before speeding off.

The vehicle was later found abandoned and torched in the nearby beachside area of Santa Lucia. Fishermen told police that they saw the group boarding a small motor boat heading off in the direction of the town of Tukuran.

Regional Director Fr Pat O’Donoghue, said that police and other law enforcement agencies had been called. Patrol boats were mobilized, but found nothing.

Fr O’Donoghue said that no motive has been given for the kidnapping and, as of 11:00p.m. on October 11, there had been no contact. He added that he is worried for the safety of the aging priest, as he underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Cebu in 2005 and has been under medication ever since. “One of my greatest concerns for him is that he does not have his medication with him, which he needs,” he disclosed.
Father Sinnott was ordained on December 21, 1954, after studies in Ireland and the United States.

Father Sinnott has worked in Mindanao since he arrived in The Philippines in 1957, except for a period in Ireland as rector of the Columban seminary, a short stint studying liturgy in Paris, and a few years in Manila as the vice director of the Philippine region.

Father O’Donoghue is asking people to pray for his safe return.

To those holding Fr. Michael Sinnott, we appeal to you to please handle him with great compassion and care. 

Likewise, we ask that all peaceful measures be taken to locate Fr. Sinnott and negotiate his release.

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