PORTLAND — Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kigali, Rwanda, will celebrate a special Mass on Friday, June 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 307 Congress Street in Portland. A reception will follow in the Cathedral’s Guild Hall.
Cardinal Kambanda is a native of Nyamata, Rwanda, where the Nyamata Genocide Memorial stands to mark the Rwandan genocide of 1994. All members of Cardinal Kambanda’s family were killed in the genocide, except for one brother.
He attended primary schools in Burundi and Uganda, then completed his secondary school education in Kenya, returning to Rwanda after finishing his studies in philosophy and two years of theology. He completed his theological studies at the Major Seminary in Nyakibanda and was ordained a priest on September 9, 1990, by Pope Saint John Paul II on the occasion of his pastoral visit to Rwanda.
After his ordination, he was a professor and prefect at the minor seminary of Ndera, Kigali (1990-1993). He then pursued higher studies in Rome where he obtained his doctorate in moral theology, residing at the Pontifical College of Saint Paul (1993-1999). He has also served as director of Caritas of Kigali, director of the diocesan commission for justice and peace, rector and professor of moral theology at a seminary in Nyakibanda, spiritual director of a seminary in Rutongo, and rector of a seminary in Kabgayi.
On July 20, 2013, he received episcopal consecration, and on Nov. 19, 2018, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Kigali. On Nov. 28, 2020, he was proclaimed a Cardinal by the Holy Father.