Father Rugirangoga is renowned for divine healing prayers, psychiatric as well as unity and reconciliation initiatives. He died in the United States in January from respiratory complications stemming from Covid-19.
His body was flown to Rwanda in the night of Saturday 27th February 2021.
On 1st March 2021, a farewell mass read by Cardinal Antoine Kambanda was held at Regina Pacis Catholic Church in Remera before Rugirangoga’s body was taken to Mushaka parish for burial on 2nd March 2021.
As he paid tribute to late Rugirangoga, Kambanda said that Ubald was characterized by a sense of responsibility to re-build the Rwandan community highlighting that the deceased left a good legacy of striving for peace, unity and reconciliation.
The requiem mass held at Mushaka Parish today has attracted clerics, Christians, relatives and friends to bid farewell to late Father Rugirangoga before laying him to rest 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.
The mass was also attended by Katse Long, a US resident and friend to late Ubald who escorted his body on a plane to Rwanda.
Church services were led by the Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese and Apostolic Administrator of Cyangugu Diocese, Hakizimana Célestin Bishop Hakizimana along with the Bishop of Ruhengeri Diocese, Vincent Harorimana.
Bishop Hakizimana has said that Father Rugirangoga helped many people to model unity and reconciliation and healed wounds through psychiatric initiatives.
He comforted those he helped not to sink into sorrow noting that Rugirangoga has gone in God’s safe hands.
“Those he helped through psychiatric initiatives should not feel despaired because they have an interceder by the side of God,” he said.
Rugwizangoga Revelien, the brother to Father Rugirangoga has said that his elder brother was a zealous and dedicated person with kind heart and unconditional love towards people throughout his entire life.
Rugirangoga is a son of Kabera Jacques and Mukaruhamya Anesia. The had sired together four children, of whom one was killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“My elder brother has been a caring person, a parent, a good friend and great advisor with outstanding experience you are aware of. During his service as a priest, I am sure that he was a good advisor and friend to everyone. His heart and house were always open,” said Rugwizangoga.
The mayor of Rusizi district, Kayumba Ephrem revealed that Father Rugirangoga had good collaboration with local leadership in his functions where he would notify them of activities he is organizing or advice the district on planned activities.
“You have departed early but God has loved your more. We are assured that the Hill of Secrete to Peace will always be blessed because of your advocacy. May Your Soul Rest In Peace,” he said.
In his message on behalf of the clergy, Bishop Hakizimana condoled with relatives of late Father Rugirangoga, Christians, Rwandans and their friends especially those who had a pact of friendship with Ubald.
He requested Christians and clerics to emulate his good deeds and take on his work praying for patients and promoting unity and reconciliation.
Bishop Hakizimana also thanked Ketsey Long who stayed closer with Ubald for tyeh past 12 years, Les Amis d’Ubald (Friends of Ubald) among others who provided support to repatriate his body to Rwanda.
Ketsey Long also received a gift in souvenir of late Father Rugirangoga.
Father Rugirangoga has prayed for many patients some of whom recovered from sight problems, HIV/AIDS, Diabetis among other incurable or hardly curable diseases.
He always attributed the healing to Jesus.
Speaking to IGIHE in 2015, Father Rugirangoga revealed that he started healing prayers in 1987 when he was a young priest. “Later in 1991, I started seeing visuals and hearing strange voices speaking to me. In the four previous years, I used to pray for people who would come to tell me that they have recovered,” he said.
Niyibizi Verena from Kicukiro district recently said that he recovered from heart disease in 2015 after attending Ubald’s healing prayers. He had suffered from the disease for nine years that hospitals in Rwanda, Kenya, Belgium and Germany had failed him.
Father Ubald Rugiranoga was born in February 155 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. He 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 has been a priest for over 32 years and died at the age of 62.
May His Soul Rest In Peace!