Bay View holds vigil for kidnapped Nigerian girls

The Bay View community gathered on the front lawn for the Bring Back Our Girls Prayer Service. (Photo courtesy of Lori DesVergnes)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of St. Mary’s Academy Bay View students came together Thursday to pray for the return of dozens of school girls kidnapped in Nigeria.

The students were joined by parents, alumnae, and friends of the academy as they gathered in front of the East Providence school to listen to readings, reflections, and prayers and sing along with the school’s chamber choir.

The Mercy Action leaders, from left to right: Betzabel Vazquez (Providence), Jasmin Blackiston (Pawtucket), Vilada Khammahavong (Johnston) , Merci Ujeneza (Providence). (Photo courtesy of Lori DesVergnes)
The Mercy Action leaders, from left to right: Betzabel Vazquez (Providence), Jasmin Blackiston (Pawtucket), Vilada Khammahavong (Johnston) , Merci Ujeneza (Providence). (Photo courtesy of Lori DesVergnes)

More than 300 girls in Nigeria were taken from school last month by an Islamic terrorist group, who threatened to sell them.

Four leaders of the Mercy Action Club (pictured at the right) carried a banner across the front lawn reading “Bay View Academy, Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Supports #BringBackOurGirls.”

Bay View President Vittoria Pacifico-DeBenedictis announced the banner will be displayed prominently in front of the school until the girls are returned home.

“As a school that is dedicated to educating girls and young women, we wish to share our strength and solidarity with the Nigerian schoolgirls,” she said in a statement.

The academy said they will continue to pray for the schoolgirls’ safe return, as well as the right to education for young women throughout the world.

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