From 02 to 04 March 2017, a delegation of priests from the 9 dioceses of Rwanda went in a pilgrimage to the Minor Seminary of Rubya in Bukoba Diocese-TANZANIA, where the first Rwandan priests (A.Bathazar GAFUKU, A
. Donat REBERAHO and A. Joseph BUGONDO) have followed their formation to the priesthood between 1904-1910. This delegation, led by Monsignor Jean Damascène BIMENYIMANA, Bishop of Cyangugu Diocese and President of the Episcopal Commission for the Clergy, included 29 priests. The pilgrimage is part of the jubilee year of 100 years of priestly ordination of the three Rwandan priests mentioned above. This delegation left Kigali at around 8 am and took the Rusumo-Buharamuro-Bukoba route to arrive at Rubya around 9:30 pm.After a good rest at night, the following day, the delegation went to the minor seminary of Rubya which was 25 km away. The priests were solemnly greeted by the music company of the little seminarians, and the Bishop himself came to welcome them. After the holy Mass celebrated in Kinyarwanda by Monsignor Jean Damascène BIMENYIMANA, and sung by the small seminarians of Rubya in swahili, in which the Bishop of the place, Monsignor Desiderius RWOMA, and a dozen of the priests of the Diocese of Rubya concelebrated, the two bishops planted a tree as a memorial of the great bond that binds the two churches through the three priests. After there were Fraternal agapes in the seminary and speaches. They were very pleased to note how much the Church of Rwanda is visiting this place
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. It had been nearly three months since the priests of the Diocese of Kibungo had also made such a pilgrimage.During his address, Monsignor Jean Damascène thanked the Bishop for the good reception and said that Rwanda is proud of the fact that its first priests were trained in such a wonderful seminar
. He added that from now on, Rubya had become the place of pilgrimage for the Rwandan priests.At its foundation in 1904 by Bishop Hirth, the Rubya Seminary was a great seminary that trained the first Tanzanian, Rwandan and Burundian priests. Afterwards, it became the small seminary, and presently it hosts 204 small seminarians and 15 resident priests. After this busy day, the delegation returned to the lodge early, to wake up very early the following day, which was the last day of the trip, and made a trip to the Cathedral Mater Misericordiae of Bukoba, a magnificent building that dates back to 1968. The Rwandan priests celebrated the Mass of thanksgiving before being welcomed by the bishop in his office and to his residence in Ntungamo.The delegation left Bukoba at 13:00 local time and took the Cyaka-Karagwe-Ngara-Rusumo route to to arrive at Rusumo border at around 7:30 pm.