In Memory of Susan Broaddus

Susan Broaddus and the Rev. Bisoke Balikenga

Susan Broaddus and I worked together for many years on the Congo Network, a project of the worldwide Anglican and Episcopal churches to support the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She passed away on 3 December 2021 after a lifetime of faithful activism, including twelve years as an Episcopalian missionary in the Congo. This is to honor and remember her. May Susan rest in peace and rise in glory.

Susan’s church home was Christ & St. Luke’s Church in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia which published this memorial resolution in her honor. The resolution was presented to and approved by the diocese’s Annual Council on 26 February 2022 and will be part of the journal for the year.

Update: On 26 July 2022, the Congo Network’s Chair, and Africa Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Office of Global Partnerships, Rev. Daniel N. Karanja, Ph.D., presented the linked Brief to the Congo Network honoring Susan Broaddus and her inspiring life of advocacy and lay leadership. The Rev. Daniel reviewed over 400 pages of Susan’s letters and documents to create the Brief. He spoke of Susan’s outstanding and inspiring contributions developing the role of women leaders and educational programs, especially at the Université Anglicane du Congo.

Susan Broaddus memorial gathering, Congo, Dec 2021
Susan Broaddus memorial gathering at the Université Anglicane du Congo parish church in Bunia, December 2021

Susan’s obituary was published by The Virginian-Pilot from 8 December – 10 December 2021. A longer version was published on Facebook by Women to Women for Congo on 8 December 2021:

It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news of the death  of Susan Broaddus, founder of the Women to Women for Congo and primary moderator of this page.

Susan Broaddus

Susan Broaddus succumbed to cancer on December 3, 2021, in Norfolk, Va., where she was born in 1946.

Her life’s greatest passion centered on The Democratic Republic of Congo, where she served as an Episcopalian missionary for over 12 years, dedicated to improving the lives of the people in that lawless and war-torn region.

She was especially concerned for the women and children there, because many militias continually attacked the towns and villages. The militias often kidnapped or killed the men, sexually attacked the women, and left the children orphaned.

About a decade ago, Susan revisited the Congo and was inspired to do more by raising awareness and money in the United States to help her beloved Congolese people. She founded a group called Women-to-Women for Congo, which joined her mission to pray for and financially assist the people there. She also supported the Anglican seminary in the Congo, both through individual scholarships and by supporting the seminary’s capital projects.

She was at the forefront locally of assisting with the immigration of the Sudanese “Lost Boys,” personally assisting many of them with tutoring, housing, bureaucracy, and more. 

Susan was a lifelong Francophile. Before retiring, she taught high school French in several school systems throughout the greater Hampton Roads area.

Her fluency in French enabled her to stay in touch with her friends and contacts in the Congo. When Susan’s health was declining rapidly from her second battle with cancer, the Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, who was the Archbishop of the Congo while she served there and is now retired, e-mailed a letter to Susan, which captured Susan’s spirit. It reads, in part (roughly translated): “I have no other words but to congratulate you for having led a life consecrated to the holy ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am convinced that you do not fear anything because, together, we have worked in the direction of ensuring the continuity of his mission to proclaim the Eternal Kingdom of God. Knowing that our human capacities have time limits, we had trained others among us and for subsequent generations. The mission continues.”

In addition to her work with the Congo, Susan was an avid reader and member of a book club. Shelves and stacks of books on many subjects filled her home. She also was active in her church, Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents, John and Margaret Broaddus, and her sisters, Margaret (Midge) Hutchison, and Ann Broaddus. She is survived by her nephew, Jason Nowell, and extended family and hometown friends….

If you would like to remember Susan in a meaningful way, please contribute to Episcopal Church Women, designating “Broaddus/Congo” in the memo line (mail to: ECW, Christ & St. Luke’s Church, P.O. Box 11499, Norfolk, VA 23517)

1968: Susan Broaddus graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Arts in French

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright by the Rev. Bisoke Balikenga, Bunia, Congo.


Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

2 responses to “In Memory of Susan Broaddus

  1. Susan M. Schrader

    I had the privilege and honor to be a part of the W2W4Congo team, which Susan founded. Susan was on call 24/7 with her Congolese family to give them a listening ear, love and support. A memorial service was also held for Susan in the Congo. Susan was quiet. With her faith and strong inner strength, Susan made a difference and gave hope to so many whose cries are not heard in our world. Rest in peace, Susan.

    • Hi Susan Schrader – Thank you for honoring Susan Broaddus and for your work to extend her legacy. Check out the additional documents that have been added to this blog post by others who join us in celebrating her life and contributions to the people of the Congo. – Katy Dickinson

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