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“Immaculée”


“I was certain that God had a greater purpose for me, and I prayed every day for Him to reveal it to me… But I came to learn that God never shows us something we aren’t ready to understand.

Instead, He lets us see what we need to see, when we need to see it…

He will plant our feet on the path that’s best for us, but it’s up to us to do the walking.”

~from Left to Tell (p.114) by Immaculée Ilibagiza


On Friday, March 1st, students from the AP Lit visited Academia María Reina (AMA) to witness an inspirational speech by Immaculée Ilibagiza, a beautiful African woman who survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994. We read and analyzed in class several chapters from the book and discovered the MAGIS in her words of wisdom. Prayer thriving in imagination gave Immaculée consolation, balance, and a life-affirming approach to overcome suffering and bring her closer to God. Her narrative described her family values, Rwanda before the conflict between Hutus and Tutsis, and her FAITH as a mean to understand the irony of being “the one left to tell [her] family story.”


After Immaculée Ilibagiza’s motivational speech, there were several questions asked by AMA’s students, and one caught her attention. The question was about her father’s decision to stay in Rwanda despite the genocide. Ilibagiza answered eloquently by addressing her father’s purpose of helping people and healing one another through love and prayer. We should not be afraid to die if we’re walking the righteous path.


My sincerest gratitude expressed to Father Baudilio and William Hayes for accompanying us to AMA; to Jesús Quintana for organizing and scheduling this activity; and especially to the students for their exceptional behavior, open-mindedness, and commitment.


Immaculée Ilibagiza inspired us to believe anger is a sickness that can be cured with love and prayer. She also reminded us that in times of doubt and fear, prayer will bring us peace. Moreover, she encouraged us to ask God for our purpose in life: “He’ll wait until your eyes and hearts are open to Him, and then when we’re ready, He will plant our feet on the path that’s best for us…”

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José Colberg is missing in the picture, but he was there with us.❤️

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