Musanze-Members of the clergy and thousands of Catholic faithful, over the weekend, thronged Musanze Stadium to witness the Episcopal ordination of Rev. Fr. Vincent Harolimana, as the new bishop of Ruhengeri diocese.
The colourful consecration and installation ceremony was presided over by Bishop Elexis Habiyambere, assisted by the head of the Episcopal Council, Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege, and Arch-Bishop Thadeo Ntihinyurwa
The Prime Minister, Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, who was the chief guest, extolled the role of the church in developing the public, spiritually, and their welfare through different programmes in education and health.
"The church teaches (its faithful) to love God, fellow human beings, but should also focus on the holistic development of the people and their welfare. A good spirit resides in a good body," said the premier.
"Our task should be to transform the people for a better life," he added.
He pointed out that churches that opposed development programmes such as health insurance (mutuelle de santé), community service and respect for national symbols would derail the government programmes aimed at developing society.
He asked the church to focus on developing the youth by offering them advice, listening to their problems and shaping them into "tomorrow's light of the world".
"All forms of leadership come from God. We all have a similar mission, same objectives to help promote the welfare of Rwandans," Habumuremyi noted.
Harolimana, who has been the Rector of Nyundo Minor Seminary for the past 12 years, replaces Bishop Kizito Bahujimihigo, who was transferred to Kibungo Diocese in 2007.
The newly consecrated bishop said that in ministering to the people, the right spirit lives in a good body, underlining that this would subsequently help in promoting good conduct and developmental activities within the diocese.
"We shall use the resources we have, the mind and the body to make this world a better place to live in and build our country. This is the spirit I come with," Harolimana mentioned.
Arch-Bishop Ntihinyurwa reminded the new bishop of the huge task ahead in providing both spiritual and physical nourishment to Christians in his diocese and becoming the light of the people.
Bishop Harolimana, who was a ordained as a priest in 1990, obtained his Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, in 1999.
In attendance were different bishops from the region and beyond, including the Pope's representative to Rwanda, Joseph Anthony, Archbishop of Bujumbura (Burundi) diocese, Evariste Ngoragoye, the Bishop of Kabale in Uganda, and the Bishop of Lubumbashi in DR Congo Jean Piere Tafunga, among others.
Ruhengeri Diocese consists of 11 parishes.
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