Assumption Day: Archbishop Kambanda recommends prayer for greater unity

Assumption Day is annually celebrated by Roman Catholics to mark the ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven.

The Archbishop of Kigali, Antoine Kambanda, has advised Christians and Rwandans, in general, to respect God, seek greater unity, and shun anything that can distance them from the Almighty who is the source of perfect peace.

Kambanda delivered the message while speaking to The New Times on Friday, August 14, 2020, in line with the celebration of the Assumption.

 

Assumption Day is annually celebrated by Roman Catholics to mark the ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven.

 

The Day is celebrated on August 15 of each year.

 

Kambanda said that they are happy that the leadership of the country made an assessment and allowed the Catholic Church to celebrate the assumption as there are churches that were given the green light to reopen based on the fulfillment of the preventive measures against Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has rattled almost all facets of life from depleting people’s livelihoods to disrupting the way people worship God.

He said that the religious pilgrimage to Kibeho — the Holy Land where the apparition of Mary is believed to take place in 1981 according to accounts from Catholic believers — will not be made as it was the case in the past.

However, he said that the Catholic Church-owned TV station – Pacis TV, is in the preparation for the prayer that will be broadcast live for Catholic fellows to follow it on television and Radio Malia, which also belongs to the Catholic Church, as well as YouTube channel.

 “I wish merry Assumption to them [Christians], and that they continue to seek support from her so that she helps us to enhance the achievement of unity, fraternity, and sisterhood,” he said.

“A person needs a happy life and peace. And it is God who bestows peace. A person looks for it (peace) elsewhere, they soon realise that they were wrong,” he said.

Mary is said to have revealed herself to three teenage girls at Mère du Verbe School in Kibeho Sector in 1981.

Archbishop Kambanda said that, with deep sadness, Mary warned Rwandans to repent, pray sincerely, and return to God so that they live as siblings, but they did not heed the warning.

“Thirteen years after, that [lack of understanding of that message] led to the Genocide [against the Tutsi in 1994]. However, her mercy and love for us are seen in the way we got rid of the abyss of the Genocide and we are rebuilding ourselves, the unity and togetherness of Rwandans, as well as development activities,” she said.

He said that there are people who deny the existence of God, putting them off such thinking.

 “We should make greater efforts in obeying God. Atheism exists both in words and actions. We should educate children to love, obey, and pray to God,” he said.

“Blessed are those who do not lose their faith and love for God. That is the pillar which will make them cross ‘the sea of life’,” he said.

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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