How does this even happen? A would-be nun says she killed her newborn baby because she was afraid the other nuns would hear his cries. When 26-year-old Sosefina Amoa traveled from Samoa to a convent in Washington, D.C., she says she had no idea she was pregnant. But alone in her room one night she felt abdominal pains and eventually gave birth to a 6-pound, 2-ounce baby.
What exactly happened next isn't clear yet, but by the next morning, she and a nun brought the dead baby to a nearby hospital. The hospital staff called the police immediately, and Amoa eventually told police that she covered her newborn's face with a piece of black wool clothing and smothered him to death. She didn't want the nuns to learn of her past sexual activity.
Amoa wasn't technically a nun herself yet. She had joined the convent (and attached senior center) Little Sisters of the Poor as a postulant, a person who is working toward becoming a nun. She had traveled 7,000 miles, halfway across the globe, to enter a life of religious study, prayer, and service. Now she faces a very different future.
Killing a baby is a terrible thing to do -- but I can't help wondering what the rest of Amoa's story is. She could be mentally ill. Whatever her sexual history, it sounds like she wanted to make a change. But maybe she should have waited a little longer before committing to such a different way of life.
Most of all, it's sad that Amoa was too scared to trust the nuns with the shocking news that she had just had a baby. She must have been incredibly desperate. I hope, whatever her whole story is, that there will be some compassion for Amoa. Whatever went wrong in that convent began long before she arrived there.
Do you think Amoa really didn't know she was pregnant before she entered the convent?
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