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RWANDA: Local community to benefit from new parish

New Mary Help of Christians Parish will offer pastoral care and education to local community


(MissionNewswire) Mary Help of Christians Church, located in Kimihurura, Kigali, Rwanda, has been designated as a parish by Archbishop of Kigali Cardinal Antoine Kambanda. Cardinal Kambanda has also installed the first parish priest, Father Augustin-César Habanabakize. The church, built three years ago, has modern infrastructure and was made possible thanks to the financial help of the Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime and many benefactors.

In addition to the church, the new parish will have a kindergarten, primary school and secondary school and offer parish ministry to those in the local community. Father Célestin Ngoboka, superior of the St. Charles Lwanga Salesian Vice Province of Africa Great Lakes, said, “Most importantly, the church will provide pastoral care for youth and their families.”

The community is excited by what the parish will offer. Bernard Mutaganda, a local resident, said, “The beautiful church you see here was built by the Salesians. We thank them because the place where we went to Mass had very few seats and going to the neighboring parish of the Holy Family was difficult for us. We also thank our archbishop, who accepted to erect the new parish in Kimihurura, right amidst our homes.”

Salesians offer education and social programs for poor youth and their families in Rwanda and around the globe. Programs like Don Bosco Gatenga, also in Kigali, has a public chapel, oratory, technical and vocational school, boarding for boys, and a farm. In addition to students at the technical school, the public chapel welcomes more than 2,000 Christians every Sunday and the oratory has more than 2,000 youth.

After bravely overcoming the trauma of the 1994 genocide, Rwandans looking to transform their country have made remarkable progress. Still, much remains to be done. Close to 39 percent of Rwandans live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35 percent of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture with some mineral and agro-processing. Many of the country’s orphaned children are the tragic result of a violent civil war. Half of all children drop out of primary school and 2.2 million people—22 percent of the population—face critical food shortages.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Rwanda – A new Salesian parish in the country’s capital

Salesian Missions – Rwanda

UNICEF – Rwanda