Rwanda – A new Salesian parish in the country's capital

14 October 2021

(ANS - Kigali) - On 2 October 2021 a new Salesian parish was born in the capital of the Republic of Rwanda, Kigali. Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, the parish is located on the hill of Kimihurua, and is part of a Salesian work started in 1956. The church, which until now was simply a public church, was erected as a parish by the archbishop of Kigali, the cardinal Antoine Kambanda.

The new parish, the 33rd of the archdiocese of Kigali, can count on modern infrastructures and was built from scratch thanks, in particular, to the financial help of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and of many benefactors, under the supervision and the coordination of Fr Danko Litrić, when he was Rector of the community.

"Having a Salesian parish in Kigali is the fulfillment of one of the decisions of the fourth Provincial Chapter, which had expressed the desire to see a Salesian parish in each of the capitals of the three countries that make up the Vice Province, namely Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda," said Fr Célestin Ngoboka, Superior of the “St Charles Lwanga” Salesian Vice Province of Africa Great Lakes (AGL).

Cardinal Kambanda, in addition to inaugurating the parish of Mary Help of Christians in Kimihura, also installed the first parish priest, namely Fr Augustin-César Habanabakize, SDB. In his speech, Msgr. Kambanda did not hesitate to express his satisfaction with the contribution of the Salesians to the pastoral mission of his archdiocese: “I am very grateful to the Salesian Congregation for its continuous work and for having given us priests who help us spread the Gospel; and especially today for their efforts to make the project to build the parish of Mary Help of Christians in Kimihurura a reality.”

In his speech of thanks, Fr Célestin Ngoboka illustrated the main lines on which the pastoral care of the new parish must be aligned: “A pastoral care centered on young people without forgetting families,” he said. Then he also invited the faithful to help the new parish priest and his team to carry out the pastoral mission that has been entrusted to them.

The Salesians of Kimihurua, who have long been known for their involvement in quality education through a kindergarten, primary and secondary school, will now also be involved in a new field of work which is the parish ministry.

The local Christian community, through its spokesperson, expressed its joy for the birth of a parish close to their homes. If many Christians know the Salesians through their sports fields and their schools, now they will know them even better through this parish. Mr Bernard Mutaganda said on the occasion: “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.”

For three years, this beautiful church, now a parish, has aroused the interest of the local population, and many weddings are also held there. Furthermore, on social networks, its defined as one of the most beautiful churches in the country, due to its location, style and simplicity.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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