Rwandan Heart Healing Programme initiator Father Ubald passes on

Celebrated “heart healing” Catholic Preacher Father Ubald Rugirangoga of Cyangugu Diocese has passed on.

The news of his passing was confirmed by a statement signed by Bishop Celestin Hakizimana of Gikongoro Diocese.

One of the most vocal and exemplary people on reconciliation, Ubald will be much remembered for the work he has been doing in teaching forgiveness to people that were subjected to unspeakable losses due to the Genocide against the Tutsi.

It is said that he succumbed to respiratory complications linked to Covid-19.

He passed away from the U.S, where he was hospitalised.

Fr. Ubald has traveled the world sharing his beautiful gift of physical, spiritual, and emotional healing.

In mid October, he is said to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Experiencing severe complications due to the virus, he has been in the ICU for a couple weeks.

Ubald is the founder of the “Isanamitima” heart healing programme aimed at fostering healing of wounds of Genocide survivors and guilt of perpetrators as part of efforts to promote unity and reconciliation.

Founded in 2015, the programme started in Mushaka Parish in Cyangugu Diocese and taken to several other parishes such as Nyamata in Bugesera District, and Kibirizi in Gisagara District.

Rugirangoga was born in February 1955 in former Cyangugu Prefecture, Karengera commune which is Rusizi district currently.

He was ordained a priest on July 22, 1983, in Mwezi Parish, Cyangugu Diocese. He survived the Genocide committed against Tutsi in 1994 when his mother and family were killed. His father was also killed earlier in 1970s for being Tutsi.

In 2015, Rugirangoga was awarded the medal dedicated to abarinzi b’Igihango (protectors of friendship pact). Rwanda gives this medal to people who heroically strived to save people in danger-mostly during the Genocide, did unique activities in the promotion of unity and reconciliation among others.