Rwanda: Father Rugirangoga's Remains to Be Repatriated to Rwanda

18 January 2021

The remains of late Father Ubald Rugirangoga will be repatriated to Rwanda for burial after a funeral mass slated for January 27, in the United States.

This is according to a statement posted on the Facebook page of the deceased cleric, on Sunday night.

"After the funeral mass on January 27, 2021, in Salt Lake City for Ubald's friends and family in the USA, Father Ubald's bodily remains will be returned to Rwanda for services and burial at the Center for Peace in Rwanda," reads the statement.

However, so far, according to the statement, neither the date of the arrival of the body remains nor that of his burial is confirmed.

"Dates and details are being worked out with proper authorities and air transport. Covid pandemic is causing some timing delays and restrictions," reads the statement.

It is expected that once these details are confirmed, they will be communicated through the Catholic Diocesan office of Cyangugu, the same institution that will handle all ceremonies and burial once Father Ubald's remains arrive in Rwanda.

Rugirangoga breathed his last in the morning of Friday, January 8.

According to Bishop Celestin Hakizimana of Gikongoro Diocese and Apostolic Administrator of Cyangugu Diocese where Rugirangoga was serving, the deceased succumbed to respiratory complications.

The cause of his death came as a side effect of Covid-19 that the priest had battled for months and later healed from it. He died from Utah, United States where he was being treated.

Rugirangoga had gone to the United States in March 2020 where he was invited to lead a mass and pray for the sick, but could not come back in April as planned because of Covid-19 preventive measures that were in place restricting air travel among others.

Born on April 26, 1955 in Karengera Sector, Nyamasheke District, Rugirangoga was a genocide survivor whose father was killed in 1962 and his mother in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Before his death, he was the Director of Centre of Secret of Peace in Nkanka Parish in Rusizi District, a responsibility he had held since 2010.

At this place, Rugirangoga would run seminars urging Genocide perpetrators to seek forgiveness and survivors to forgive their tormentors as part of the healing process from the wounds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The 65-year-old was in 2015 rewarded as a protector of friendship pact 'Umurinzi w'Igihango' by Unity Club-Intwararumuri, led and founded by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

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