A Filipino missionary nun who was known for her advocacy for social justice and human rights died at the age of 67 on April 11.
Sister Mary Francis Añover of the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM) was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in November last year.
She served two terms as a general council member of RSM International and twice as national coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) from 2010 to 2016.
In 2014, Sister Añover led a campaign against large-scale mining operations that threatened to displace thousands of indigenous people in the southern Philippines.
She also spearheaded campaigns for the protection of rural and agricultural workers and advocated genuine land reform even after her term as RMP national coordinator.
The missionary nun was a vocal critic of political killings, the vilification of church-based human rights groups, and the red-tagging of activists.
The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines paid its “highest tribute and respect” to Sister Añover, who was described as “a champion of rural missions.”
Father Angel Cortez, executive secretary of the association, said Sister Añover’s death is “a great loss for the rural poor who seek social justice and equality.”
Ofelia Cantor of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform described Sister Añover as a missionary nun who “takes an extra mile to sit down and listen to the narratives of the rural poor and the indigenous people.”
The remains of Sister Añover were cremated and will be brought to her hometown in Leyte province in the central Philippines later this week.