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The Price and the Grace of Forgivness

Photo of Fr. Marcel UwinezaFr. Marcel Uwineza, S.J. is a surviver of the Rwandan Genocide and currently a PhD candidate in SystematicTheology at Boston College. He is a friend of our adopted Rwandan son, Fr. Jean-Baptist Ganza.

Raised Catholic, he became angry with the Church after the Genocide only to slowly return to the faith over several years. The story of his “God Moment” is below, excerpted from a longer article that appeared in “The Heights”, a newspaper run by the students of Boston College, MA.

Fr. Marcel’s story begins with the description of how his siblings were murdered as told in the newspaper article. “After Uwineza and his siblings were rescued, his siblings were brutally murdered by a man in his village. Their bodies were were thrown into a latrine.”

"After Uwineza finished college, he joined the Jesuits. And afterward, during Holy Days, something that shaped his understanding of forgiveness and God’s grace happened: He came face to face with the man who had murdered his siblings."

“When I first saw him, I thought this man was coming to kill me … but he came towards me, knelt, I wasn't sure what he was planning, looked at me in the eyes, was confused, then he added words and said, ‘Marcel, can you forgive me?’” he said. “I stood there for quite some time, not knowing what to say. I found myself asking him to stand. And we embraced one another, and we shed tears. And all of the sudden I felt as if chains broke from my legs … . So that moment liberated me and probably liberated both of us.”

Fr. Marcel Uwineza, S.J.

You can see a vidoe of Fr. Marcel discussing his faith journey.