St. Monica’s Church Members Kidnapped by Somali Pirates
Posted Feb. 21, 2011, 9:33 am
This story has been updated. To read the story about the shooting of the hostages, click HERE
Somali pirates hijacked a yacht carrying four U.S. citizens on Feb. 18 off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, Somalia’s U.N. Missions told the Associated Press (AP). Two of the kidnapped U.S. citizens, Jean and Scott Adam, are members of St. Monica’s church in Santa Monica, who had been around the world distributing bibles for the last the last seven years.
They are just great people,” said Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson of St. Monica’s Catholic Church. “They just had this desire to make a difference in the world… Their mission was to deliver bibles to the far-flung corners of the world.”
According to the Adam’s website they used to chronicle their journey, they have been distributing Bibles to schools, perishes, and churches in areas including Alaska, New Zealand, Central America, the Fiji Islands, and French Polynesia.
The AP reported that Omar Jamal, first secretary at the Somali mission, identified the yacht as the S/V Quest, which is a boat that Adams are believed to periodically dock in Marina del Rey. Their website states that they are members of the Marina del Rey Yacht Club.
Jamal and U.N. mission called for the immediate release of the hostages and all other captives who are in the hands of the pirates.
Somalia has been home to a flourishing nest of pirates, who have hijacked everything from small sailboats to giant freighters. Since 1991, Somalia has lacked a functioning government. This lack of societal structure has been attributed as the cause for the nest of dangerous pirates who tend to seek multimillion dollar ransoms from the hijackings. It is believed that the various pirate groups have a total holding of 29 ships and roughly 660 hostages before the latest seizures the AP reported.
Monsignor Torgeson said Jean had been a member of the church’s choir, but he last saw them around the most recent Christmas time. He said that all the masses of this past weekend features vigil prayer services for the Adams.
“We are broken hearted,” he said. “We’ve been praying for them and will continue to pray and support them in this dark hour of their lives.”