Father Christopher Shepherd-Smith began his missionary life at Saint Paul’s Mission. On February 6, 1977, he planned to leave the mission, but due to a dead battery in his motorcycle, he could not leave as planned and instead decided to stay the night at Musami. Sadly, his decision turned out to be a fatal one.

On February 6, 1977, nationalist guerillas arrived at the mission, rounded up the white staff (which also included five Dominican sisters), and took them a short distance away. In the words of Father Dunstan Myerscough, a priest who survived by throwing himself to the ground when the shooting began: “Finally, three of them turned on us and raised their guns…we didn’t know they were going to shoot us until the firing started…when the firing stopped I looked up and saw that the other seven were dead and that there was nothing I could do for them.”Father Christopher Shepherd-Smith was just 34 years-old.

Sources: http://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/lifestyle/tragic-brother-remembered-at-st-johns-27364874.html

http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/11th-february-1977/1/seven-missionaries-killed-in-rhodesia

http://www.dsiop.org/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=294:news-from-dominican-sisters&catid=33&Itemid=56

http://newsaints.faithweb.com/new_martyrs/Zimbabwe.htm

http://www.jesuit.org.uk/features/musami.htm

Shannon Doyle

Shannon Doyle is a Junior at John Carroll university from Westfield, NJ. Last semester she studied at NUI Maynooth in Ireland. She is majoring in sociology with a minor in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and is planning to complete her masters in Non-Profit Administration. She bacame interested in the Ignatian Solidarity network after attending the Ignatian Family Teach-in last fall. She has been involved in many volunteer activities in and outside of campus including volunteering each summer at Sister Pat’s Kids Camp in New York for kids with cancer and blood disorders. last summer she also volunteered with the York Street Project in Jersey City which helps young mothers complete their high school degree. At John Carroll she is also President of the Carroll Cinema Society and a member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team.