By Hélène Ginabat

Monsignor Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali, Rwanda, is one of the 13 Cardinals designated by Pope Francis, who made the announcement after the Angelus on Sunday, October 25, 2020. The new Cardinals will be created in the Ordinary Consistory scheduled for this coming November 28.

Monsignor Kambanda was born on November 10, 1958, in the Archdiocese of Kigali.

All the members of his family were killed in the 1994 war except for one of his brothers, who at present lives in Italy, states a Holy See press release.

He attended primary school in Burundi and Uganda, before continuing his secondary studies in Kenya. On returning to Rwanda, after his studies in Philosophy and two years of Theology, he finished his theological studies at the Grand Seminary of Nyakibanda, in the diocese of Butare. John Paul II ordained him priest on September 8, 1990, on the occasion of his pastoral visit to Rwanda.

After his Ordination, the Cardinal-designate held a number of offices.

From 1990 to 1993 he was Professor and Prefect at the small Seminary of Ndersa (Kigali), before taking up higher studies again in Rome from 1993 to 1999, at the Redemptorists’ Alphonsian Academy — whose teaching is inspired by Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori –, where he received a Doctorate in Moral Theology. He resided at Saint Paul’s Pontifical College.

He was Director of Kigali’s diocesan Caritas from 1999 to 2005; Director of the diocesan Justice and Peace Commission; Professor of Moral Theology at the Grand Seminary of Theology at Nyakibanda and Spiritual Director of the Grand Seminary of Rutongo, in the province of Kigali.

Then, from 2005 to 2006 he was Rector of the Grand Seminary of Philosophy of Kabgayi, in the southern province. From 2006 he was Rector of the Saint Charles Grand Seminary of Nyakibanda.

Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of the diocese of Kibungo on May 7, 2016, and Archbishop of Kigali on November 19, 2018.

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