“When I was 5 years old, I went with my mother to pass the night in the bush land to escape people who wanted to kill us. In 1963, at 7 years old, my father was killed. I learned that he was killed because he was of the Tutsi ethnic group who were persecuted in Rwanda. In 1973 we fled the minor seminary because Hutu seminarians wanted to kill the Tutsi seminarian group. From there I went to Burundi as a refugee to continue my studies until 1978.
Because of all the things that had happened to me, and my suffering as a victim of ethnic hatred in Rwanda, I decided to become a priest and to preach love in Rwanda. I returned to Rwanda in 1978 and continued my studies at the major seminary of Nyakibanda where I graduated in philosophy and theology.
In 1984 I was ordained a priest in the Cyangugu Diocese. I preached about love to my people for ten years before the 1994 genocide began. During those 90 days I witnessed the genocide of the Tutsi people all over Rwanda. By the grace of God I miraculously escaped myself. The genocide has impacted all Rwandese people. My people do not have inner peace. The victims of the genocide are traumatized by what happened to them and their families. The executioners of the genocide are also traumatized because of what they have done. Everybody needs inner peace.
I have preached for a long time that the only way to free people and heal them of their inner wounds is through reconciliation and forgiveness or pardon. I have seen the fruit of this. Many people come to share their agony with me and because of this a new vocation has been born within me: To listen to people, to evangelize, to speak about peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and to pray for healing. Once I spoke of this new vocation to my Bishop he agreed and approved this vision.”
For more visit Father Ubald’s website: www.frubald.com