Cardinal Kambanda urges Rwandans to draw lessons from Rugirangoga’s values

On 10 January 2022 at 12:37

The Archbishop of Kigali Diocese, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda has said that late Father Ubald Rugirangoga’s legacy of seeking forgiveness played a great role to finding a solution for problems related to consequences of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

He made the revelation on Saturday 8th January 2022 during a mass to commemorate the death of Father Ubald Rugirangonga held at Agasozi k’Ibanga ry’Amahoro (Hill of Secrete to Peace) located in Kamatita cell, Gihundwe sector, Rusizi district of Western Province.

The hill of 25 hectares is located in Nkanka Parish, Cyangugu Diocese. It was conceived by Father Rugirangoga who sought to establish a center where people will gather for to pray for a peaceful world and forgive each other.

Cardinal Kambanda said that Rugirangoga endured suffering from which the values of forgiveness stemmed.

“Father Ubald endured suffering. Forgiveness has linkages to suffering. Forgiveness is the fruit from the tree of suffering which is the cross. To be able to forgive, empathy with the person who is suffering is needed,” Cardinal Kambanda said.

Throughout his suffering, Cardinal Kambanda said, Rugirangoga took care of the needy and empathized with them which he considered a great legacy.

He explained that the fruit of forgiveness has been helpful to tough problems Rwanda went through emanating from the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Father Rugirangoga died in the United States in January 2021 from respiratory complications stemming from Covid-19.

He is renowned for divine healing prayers, psychiatric as well as unity and reconciliation initiatives.

Sister Valerie Mukandeze from the congregation founded by Rugirangoga said that he always advised them to love one another and strive to live in harmony.

The commemoration of Father Rugirangoga was held from 2nd to 8th January 2022.

Throughout the weeklong event, he was praised for his contribution to rebuild Rwandan society after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Father Ubald Rugiranoga was born in February 1955 in former Rwabidege sector, Mwezi parish in Commune Karengera, Prefecture Cyangugu currently in Rusizi district. He was ordained priest in 1984 at the age of 29. Rugirangoga used to organize different gospel crusades in which many people healed from different diseases.

In 2015, Father Rugirangoga was selected Protector of Friendship Pact ‘Umurinzi w’Igihango’ for outstanding contribution to unity and reconciliation initiatives that started in Mushaka Parish and extended countrywide.

Among others, Father Rugirangoga encouraged Genocide perpetrators to seek forgiveness and survivors to forgive offenders as a healing process from the wounds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In 2019, Father Rugirangoga wrote a book dubbed “Forgiveness Makes You Free” aimed at consolidating Rwandans unity and reconciliation efforts.

Prior to his death early January 2021, Ubald was the head priest at Mushaka Parish and had requested his Bishop to be assigned in a parish where he could easily pray for mass public and help them along unity and reconciliation journey.

He served as a priest for over 32 years and died at the age of 62.

Cardinal Kambanda laying wreaths at the tomb of Father Rugirangoga.