Adorers of the Blood of Christ

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ (Latin: Sorores Adoratrices Pretiossimi Sanguinis) are a Catholic religious institute founded by Maria De Mattias in 1834. Their post-nominal letters are ASC.

Adorers of the Blood of Christ
Formation1831 (1831)
FounderSaint Maria De Mattias
TypeCentralized religious institute of consecrated life of pontifical right (for women)
HeadquartersVia Beata Maria de Mattias, 10, 00183 Roma, Italy
Membership (2017)
Superior General
Sr. Mariamma Kunnackal, A.S.C.

The institute operates the Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.


The Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ was established by Maria De Mattias, on March 4, 1834, in Acuto, Italy. She founded it as an active apostolic teaching community,[1] and opened a school for girls. Before long she was joined by others and schools were opened in the small towns of the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples. On May 30, 1855, Pope Pius IX issues a “decree of praise” approving their work. In 1866 Maria De Mattias died in Rome of tuberculosis. By then sixty-four schools had been opened, including one in London.[2]

In 1875, sisters from Italy established a house in Ruma, Illinois and a second in 1902 in Wichita, Kansas. Sisters from both Wichita and Ruma served the Catholic School in Rulo, Nebraska.[3] In 1933, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ founded Sacred Heart Junior College in Wichita, Kansas which eventually became Newman University. In March 2014, the order donated 2.5 million dollars to the university.[4] The gift will be used to support emerging science initiatives on the Newman campus.

In October 1992, Sisters Barbara Ann Muttra, Mary Joel Kolmer, Kathleen McGuire, Agnes Mueller, and Shirley Kolmer were killed by soldiers during a civil war in Liberia.[5][6] On January 24, 2008, Morris Padmore, a former combatant of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) warring faction testified at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the nuns were raped and executed under the command of former NPFL general Christopher Vambo.[7][8] The Adorers of the Blood of Christ were in Liberia since 1971.[9]

Present day

As of 2019, there were about 1,178 members. The motherhouse is in Rome.[2]

Opposition to pipeline

On July 2017, in Columbia, Pennsylvania, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ went to court to oppose the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline as one of the church's chapel is on the pipeline's trajectory.[10][11] In September, a district court judge dismissed the Adorers' complaint.[12] The chapel is just a small wooden structure with no walls or roof, and it is situated in the middle of a corn field. This "open-air" chapel was built to protest the pipeline by erecting a place protected by the freedom of religion in the path of the pipeline to block its construction.[13] A Williams Companies spokesman stated: "Like millions of homes and business across the U.S., the nuns' retirement community enjoys the benefits of affordable, reliable natural gas service. Therefore, we find it ironic that the Adorers would challenge the value of natural gas infrastructure in the lawsuit, while at the same time promoting the availability and use of natural gas at their St. Anne's Retirement Community."[14]

See also


  1. "Maria De Mattias", Vatican News Service
  2. "Our History", Adorers of the Precious Blood of Christ
  3. "Adorers of the Blood of Christ", Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln
  4. Snedden, Kelly. "Newman receives generous gift from Adorers of the Blood of Christ", Newman Today"', March 4, 2014
  5. Don Terry (2 November 1992). "Sorrow in an Illinois Convent, Home to Five Slain in Liberia". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  6. Fagan, Laureen. "Liberia: Justice and the civil war legacy on 25th anniversary of nun deaths", Africa Times, October 21, 2017
  7. "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  8. Kolmer, Elizabeth (2006). "The Death of Five Adorers of the Blood of Christ and the Changing Meaning of Martyrdom". U.S. Catholic Historian. 24 (3): 149–164. JSTOR 27671166.
  9. Therese Wetta (13 July 2017). "Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Deaths of Five nuns of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ In Liberia 1992 – 2017". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  10. Dawn Araujo-Hawkins (7 July 2017). "Adorers of the Blood of Christ resist pipeline plans". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  11. Dawn Araujo-Hawkins (18 July 2017). "Adorers of the Blood of Christ take pipeline protest to court". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  12. "Adorers 'disappointed' in dismissal of lawsuit against pipeline, plan to appeal". 29 September 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  13. James Gaines (13 July 2017). "These nuns built a lovely little chapel. Right in the way of a pipeline. On purpose". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  14. Pennsylvania nuns sue federal agency over natural gas pipeline by Marie Cusick August 3, 2017

Further reading

  • The Adorers of the Blood of Christ in the Church and in the World, 1834–1984. ASIN B009KNAF94.
  • Regina Siegfried (2005). Missionaries More and More: The History of the China Mission of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, 1933–1945. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1420867800.
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