Appointed Bishop of Gikongoro by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, November 26, 2014, Bishop Celestine ordinary bishop was consecrated Saturday, January 24, 2015. The Mass of consecration, which took part all Catholic Bishops of Rwanda and some of Burundi, hundreds of priests, religious-its, thousands of Christians, friends and acquaintances of the diocese of Gikongoro, was chaired by the Kigali Archbishop Thaddeus Ntihinyurwa, the main Consecrator and co-consecrating bishops Mgr Smaragde Mbonyintege, Bishop of Kabgayi and president of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda and Mgr Philippe Rukamba, Bishop of Butare and former apostolic administrator of Gikongoro.

On the side of the Rwandan state, have enhanced their presence Mass MAKUZA Honorable Bernard, President of the Rwandan Senate, Mr. Francis Kaboneka, the Minister of Local Government and Social Affairs, Mr. Alphonse Munyentwari, Governor the Southern Province, Mr. Philibert MUGISHA, the Mayor of Nyamagabe District and Mr. François HABITEGEKO, Mayor of the District of Nyaruguru.Il were also the prelates of the Anglican Church in Rwanda, including the Archbishop of Gasabo Bishop Onesphore RWAJE and Bishop Augustine MVUNABANDI the Anglican Diocese Kigeme (Nyamagabe).

In its various consequential speeches to his episcopate, since his appointment, and during the run up to his consecration, Bishop Celestin returned to his pastoral guidance expressed through its Motto “DUC IN ATLUM” which can be translated as “deepwater forward” or “Go off”. These are words from the Gospel of Luke 5.4. At the end of the Mass, taking stock to the press, Archbishop Celestine was estimated pleased consecration despite strong torrential rain that fell at the last minute and that would disturb the reception. “Ordinarily, a rain in such activity, is a blessing. But, given its very high intensity, it may disturb everything we organized as receiving. ” He said the ceremony was held to his ordination he was none. “I received this day as a gift of God. This is a heavy task, but possible under the gaze of God and the help of prayers of Christians. ”

Assuring them of his commitment to human promotion in its entirety, because for him, “a body without a soul is a demon” and “a body without a soul, a corpse,” he asked the Christians of Gikongoro s ‘join him and work as brothers and son of God. Among its priorities, it intends to promote the easy and adequate access to places of worship for Christians through assistance from existing parishes and by the erection of new parishes.

Concelebrated Bishop Simon NTAMWANA, Archbishop of the Diocese of Gitega, welcomed the presence of a big world of people from all walks of proving that the diocese of Gikongoro needed a committed pastor, and attentive to God’s people, like Bishop Celestin. “Praise God, this crowd here this is the expression of encouragement for the new consecrated bishop. He and his Christians must work in unity for a common vision: to promote the Church present in Gikongoro. ”

The diocese of Gikongoro for two years and eight months, was no ordinary bishop since the unexpected death of Bishop Augustin MISAGO occurred March 12, 2012, the first Bishop of Gikongoro (appointed 30 March 1992). The new bishop, Mgr Celestine HAKIZAMANA, before his appointment, was Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda (2011-2014). He made small seminars Saint Vincent Rulindo (1977-1983) and Ndera (1983-1984) in the Archdiocese of Kigali. In 1985 he entered the Seminary Propédeutique Rutongo (Archdiocese of Kigali) and completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary Nyakibanda, Diocese of Butare. He was ordained priest on July 21, 1991. After holding several ministries in Rwanda (Director GEMECA and St. Paul Pastoral Centre in Kigali, …), he continued his studies in Naples (Italy) where he obtained a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology. His doctoral thesis on “The Lordship of Christ in the context of the African Christology” was published in Naples in 2012.


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