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Reflection on my travels to Rwanda

by Paul Vogelheim, Chairman of the Board


Having just returned from Rwanda, here are a few reflections. The Center for the Secret of Peace grounds were beautiful with lots of visitors and pilgrims. I had very encouraging discussions of support and partnering with Bishop Edouard and Cardinal Kambanda. It was very impressive and fun to see Mireille (who seems to know everyone in Rwanda), Father Robert and our staff delivering Father Ubald’s vision. And we had a positive lunch meeting with Sister Donotta and the leadership of the Missionaries of Peace.

It was an honor to represent our board and speak at the Mass remembering the one-year anniversary of Father Ubald’s passing. As Bishop Edouard had Covid, Rwanda’s first Cardinal presided and was joined by thirty-priests to celebrate Father Ubald’s impactful work. The Cardinal, a Bishop’s representative, the Vice-Major and Reverien (Father Ubald’s brother) all spoke of Ubald’s good and faithful works. With the following comments I tried to offer encouragement, support and the challenge to keep Father Ubald’s Mission Alive and moving forward!!

Amahoro and may God bless Father Ubald and all of us who love him. May all of us here today or watching online, continue to work together to Keep Father Ubald’s Mission Alive!!My name is Paul Vogelheim and Father Ubald called me his American Brother.I was with him and with Katsey a year ago when he passed. Father Ubald always has said, “We have lost the battle, but we will win the war."

I have traveled here to publicly thank God and the Rwandan people for sharing their servant, Father Ubald with America and the World. I’m also here representing the Board for the Center for the Secret of Peace Ministries who are committed to raise funds to Keep Father Ubald’s Mission Alive and continue provide the operational funding for this beautiful Center for the Secret of Peace…in partnership with Bishop Edouard and the Diocese of Cyangugu.

Ubald, truly has been a gift to the world!!

So, how do we carry on Father Ubald’s mission without him? A similar question challenged the early apostles after Christ ascended into heaven. First, we must pray to our Lord and ask for the Holy Spirit’s Help.

And secondly, we look at the gifts Father Ubald left us:

· A clear mission and vision;

· He hand-picked a board of directors and his staff here at the Center;

· Along with Sister Donotta, they established the Missionaries of Peace—approaching 200 brothers, sisters and lay ministers

· Selected this specular setting on Lake Kivu for his Center

This a pretty good start!!

As a testimonial to Ubald’s Joy, Love and his power of drawing us together, his board:

· In coordination and with full support of Bishop Edouard, the board has appointed an extremely qualified and long-time Ubald friend—Mireille Umwali as the Center’s Executive Director

· We have two full-time wonderful priests here at the Center: Spiritual Director, Father Robert and Chaplain Father Ubald.

· In partnership with Bishop Edouard we are supporting and expanding seminars and retreats for Christian Listening, Trauma Recovery and Mushaka Reconciliation programs. This is a board priority and Katsey Long will be helping with this effort.

· We are translating—Father Ubald’s book—Forgiveness Makes You Free into Kenyaranda and the Mushaka training book into English.

· Launched a new website in four languages.

· We are planning additional building expansions here at the Center.

Rwanda, you are not alone in your grieving and we standing with you to help Keep Father Ubald’s Mission Alive. Thank you for allowing me to participate in your celebration today.

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