Immaculée Iligibazia Visits SHA


McKenna Micke, Staff Reporter

On the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 4, an honorable and inspirational speaker visited Sacred Heart Academy. Immaculée Iligibazia, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, was able to share her experience and devotion to God with students and faculty.

When Iligibazia entered the gymnasium, students and faculty applauded her for her bravery and courage in the genocide. While some were very eager to meet her, others were swept up by emotion and fighting to hold back their tears. Several students felt honored to meet such a heroic woman.

Many students consider Iligibazia as a role model due to her exemplary courage and faith. Iligibazia’s faith in God allowed her to overcome her fears and strengthen her relationship with God. Because of this, Iligibazia is considered a strong, confident woman who is determined to strengthen her leadership skills every day. Several students admire Ilibigazia due to her tenancity to persevere and overcome obstacles.

SHA Dean of Studies, Ms. Amy Nall, considers Iligibazia more than a role model.

Nall said, “The word role model does not capture her impact… I think inspiration might be a better word.”

Several students and faculty members plan on reading Iligibazia’s other books including Led by Faith, The Boy who Met Jesus, and The Rosary. Iligibazia is considered as one of world’s leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness, which is why many consider her a hero. Not many woman can publicly speak or write about their tragic childhood to a group of strangers.

Both students and faculty showed interest in helping Ilibigazia’s school in Rwanda. SHA plans to write letters to students and teachers in Rwanda. It is our goal to one day build a strong relationship with this school that Iligibazia helps fund.

It is inevitable that Iligibazia has inspired several women within the SHA community to continue and strengthen their faith. She spoke on a level where both faculty and students could easily connect with her.

SHA Religion teacher, Mr. Bob Wheatley said, “I can relate to her because I lost my father when I was six years old, but like her, I did not make excuses for the cards I had been dealt in life. Keeping a very positive attitude is key!”

While at SHA, Ilibigazia really emphasized the power of prayer and peace. She encouraged students and faculty to value their relationship with God and learn to forgive their enemies. It is clear that Ilibigazia has influenced everyone at SHA. Ilibigazia encouraged them to deepen their faith with God and share the importance of understanding forgiveness to others.

Senior Alex Pesek, said, “I admire her immensely for her capacity to forgive, her strength, and her thoughtfulness. Immaculée has reminded me about the importance of forgiveness and how powerful our minds are.”

Immaculée Iligibazia is truly a woman of great faith.