February 25: Celebration in memory of Sr. Renée Guido POPPA, Oblate of the Assumption with Françoise NYIRAGENDO, a Rwandan aspirant Print


I. The story of the OA Mission in Rwanda and the Remembrance of the 1992 event

The Oblates of the Assumption - Religious Missionaries were established in Rwanda in 1981, responding to the call of the Church through the voice of Bishop RUZINDANA, Bishop of Byumba who needed nuns for catechetical formation, vocational formation (sewing and culinary arts for women and girls out of school) and the care of the sick (in a dispensary).

From1990 a current of rebellion began in the mountainous regions, protesting against the government of Juvenal HABYARIMANA who had been in power since 1973. Guerrillas sowed terror in the villages and many victims were massacred throughout the years 91-93. They aimed at overthrowing those in power. Many of those displaced, fleeing the insecurity surrounding the area, were flocking to the mission where our sisters were at the service of all without distinction of religion or ethnicity: care of the wounded - supervision of raped women - care of malnourished children. Sister Renée Guido Poppa, who had come to assist the sisters for a year, was a consolation for these refugees. It was in these conditions that a battalion of rebels rushed to the dispensary and the convent on the night of 25 to 26 February 1992. Tragedy struck our community: Sister Renée GUIDO POPPA and Francoise NYIRAGENDO (post mortem postulant) were killed by rebels who spread terror in Byumba Region.

With all our brothers and sisters of the Assumption family, as well as the laity with whom we journey; we would like to celebrate the memory of Sr. René Guido Poppa and give thanks for the gift of her life given to the service of the Kingdom and to the brothers and sisters beyond the borders.