Update by Facebook user Mary Josephine Prittam Singh:
I was at the hospital with the family and IJ Sisters throughout most of the day and felt their pain and anxiety over the incident. Mary-Rose was transferred to the ward around noon whilst Julianna was still at the emergency ward until this evening unable to be moved due to her unstable condition caused by the drop in her blood pressure and very bad brain injuries.
They are Sr Julianna Lim, 69, and Sr Mary-Rose Teng, 79, belonging to the Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus (IJ), a Catholic religious order of educators, many of whom were teachers in Convent schools across the country.
Julianna heads the Seremban IJ Learning Centre, a centre for providing holistic education to children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, according to an IJ colleague who briefly worked at the Centre..
Mary-Rose used to take care of children with disabilities in Bukit Nanas, KL. After her retirement, she was transferred to Seremban, where she used to keep in touch with the children at the Learning Centre.
Julianna is in a coma in the ICU while Mary-Rose is conscious but unable to speak.
A hard, blunt object was believed to have been used in the assault. The two injured nuns were found in the premises of the Church of the Visitation in Seremban before morning service.
Gregory Chan, a Catholic priest in Seremban, reports on his Facebook:
My dear friends, please pray for two of our IJ sisters – Srs. Juliana & Mary-Rose – who were viciously attacked and seriously injured in our Church grounds early this morning before Lauds & Mass had begun.
The ambulance came for them. After masses at Visitation and Mt Carmel, I rushed to the Emergency Ward, & saw them bruised, bleeding and in shock. One is critical and on a respirator.
As I anointed them, tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t help it. How wicked it is to do this to our nuns, who have given their whole life to God.
Nevertheless, let us pray for God’s forgiveness upon them, and for their eventual conversion.
The Church of the Visitation reports in its Faceook page:
Dear brothers and sisters
Please pray for Sr Julianna, an IJ nun, who was hurt in a robbery this morning. She is quite critical at the red zone GH Seremban. The doctors attending to her have asked to inform relatives. Please pray for her complete recovery. God bless.
It is difficult to imagine why anyone would want to rob IJ sisters, who are under a vow of poverty and would be unlikely to carry much money. It is unclear if the sisters were in religious or lay garb at the time of the incident. (Update: It is understood that the nuns were in lay attire at the time of the incident; so that may point to robbery.)
The Christian community need not be told to remain calm, but they will be naturally concerned about their safety, especially as this incident comes in the wake of provocative banners put up outside churches in Penang by unidentified individuals.