Rev. Célestin Hazikimana, the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda, has been appointed bishop of Gikongoro diocese.
The appointment, by Pope Francis, was announced yesterday.
Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege, Catholic Church spokesperson in Rwanda, said the Church welcomed Hakizimana’s appointment.
“He has been an exemplary Priest both in the Church and in his relations with other people. We are delighted with his appointment as bishop and we thank him for accepting the appointment,” he told The New Times yesterday.
He said Hakizimana’s previous performance is very promising for his new responsibilities.
“Based on his good performance in his previous responsibilities, we are confident he will fulfill his new duties,” Mbonyintege said.
He replaces Bishop Augustin Misago who passed away in 2012. He is from St. Famille Parish in Nyarugenge District.
Who is Hazikimana
Bishop Hazikimana was born on August 14, 1963. He attended St. Vincent Rulindo Minor Seminary (1977-1983) and proceeded to Ndera (1983-1984).
In 1985 he entered the preparatory Seminary of Rulindo and completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Interdiocesano Nyakibanda Major Seminary, in Butare. He was ordained a priest on July 21, 1991.
He has since served in a number of pastoral and academic roles.
1991-1992: Assistant priest in Rutongo; 1992-1994: Diocesan Representative for Catholic Education; 1994-1996: Director of the San Paolo National Centre in Kigali; 1997-1998: Diocesan Representative for Catholic Education; 1998-2003: Director of GEMECA-Rwanda; 2003-2010: Attended higher studies of Theology in Naples, where he obtained a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology at St. Thomas University.
Since 2011 he has been the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda.