Father Ubald

Father Ubald Rugirangoga prays with John Sezikeye in a small chapel at the home of Jackson resident Katsey Long last week. Rugirangoga, who often preaches to congregations of more than 30,000 in his home country of Rwanda, visits Jackson regularly for rest. Sezikeye, a Rwandan native and resident of Baltimore, heard Rugirangoga was in America and flew to Jackson for one day to pray with him.

Carmel Tice had leukemia. Then Father Ubald Rugirangoga said God had healed her. And Tice didn’t have leukemia.

That’s her story. But not just hers. You can hear many people say the same, in Jackson, around the United States, the world and in Africa, where Rugirangoga survived the Rwandan genocide and went on to preach another healing message, of peace through forgiveness.

Rugirangoga died in a Salt Lake City hospital on Jan. 8 from complications due to COVID-19. News of his death spread quickly in his home country, where his popularity among his people made him a sort of living saint.

In Rwanda, Paul Vogelheim said, "he's like Billy Graham.

"People would walk for days to hear him, he was overwhelmed by people who wanted to touch him."

Bishop Celestin Hakizimana of Gikongoro Diocese told the Times of Rwanda that Ubald "love people so much and had unwavering integrity in his service."

A foundation in Jackson helped create Father Ubald's Center for the Secret of Peace in Rwanda. Rotary of Jackson Hole contributed money for the 80-acre compound to provide water and sewage infrastructure.

His friends in Jackson are raising money to return his body to Rwanda, and a funeral mass will be live-streamed from Salt Lake on Jan. 27 at 12:30 p.m., with further details to be announced on Fr. Ubald's Facebook page

Rugirangoga considered Jackson a second home. Jackson Hole News&Guide Reporter Mark Huffman spoke with some of the priest's friends in the valley to learn more about his work, his message of peace and his legacy. Read "Father Ubald, Catholic healer, Jackson part-time resident, dies" for more. 

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
The News&Guide welcomes comments from our paid subscribers. Tell us what you think. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.