Rwandan Survivors to Speak at the Cathedral

Immaculee Ilibagiza and Fr. Ubald to share experiences and message of faith

Faith, hope and forgiveness, especially during the darkest times in life, will be the topics of an upcoming weekend of special events at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans from February 22-24, 2013.

Immaculėe Ilibagiza, survivor of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and best-selling author of Left to Tell and Our Lady of Kibeho, and Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga, of the Cyangugu Diocese in Rwanda, will be the featured speakers as they tell their stories of how prayer and forgiveness helped them survive during one of the most brutal genocides in recent history.

Immaculėe, a member of the Tutsi tribe, hid in a small bathroom for 91 days with seven other women as members of the rival Hutus massacred one million people throughout Rwanda, including the majority of her family. During her time in hiding, she prayed the rosary, read the Bible and asked God to show her how to forgive the killers. Her amazing story of survival and forgiveness is an inspiration to all.

Fr. Ubald has been a Roman Catholic priest for 25 years in Rwanda. During the 1994 genocide, he lost over 80 members of his family and over 45,000 of his parishioners were exterminated.  He travels around the world preaching healing, forgiveness and reconciliation and is an advisor to the Government of Rwanda as the country continues to rebuild after the devastation of the genocide.

The weekend retreat will begin on Friday, February 22, at 6:00 p.m. with a special “Meet and Greet” reception with Immaculėe.  She will begin her presentation at 6:30 p.m. and continue on Saturday, February 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Fr. Ubald will lead a Healing Prayer Service on Saturday, beginning at 2:00 p.m., followed by reconciliation prior to the Saturday Vigil Mass.  On Sunday, February 24, at 9:45 a.m., Fr. Ubald will speak on his “11 Points of Forgiveness” and his Center for the Secret of Peace as part of St. John’s Adult Faith Formation series.  A collection basket will be passed in support of Fr. Ubald’s Center for the Secret of Peace.

Tickets are $50 each for the Friday “Meet and Greet,” and $30 each for the Friday and Saturday retreat.  Fr. Ubald’s talk on Sunday is free to the public.  For more information, please call the Cathedral office at 221-5296 or visit the website at www.sjbcathedral.org.

by Lucy Medvec, Cathedral of St. John Berchmans

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