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Immaculee Ilibagiza, Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Returns to Walsh, Nov. 8

What's New, 2012-11-01

Author and international speaker addressed
Walsh University students, faculty and staff

Walsh University once again welcomed Immaculee Ilibagiza to campus, November 8, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Barrette Business and Community Center. Considered one of the world's leading speakers on peace, faith and forgiveness, Ilibagiza addressed first-year students, faculty and staff about overcoming struggles, the power of forgiveness, the miracles of the Rosary – the prayer that saved her life – and the love of Our Lady of Kibeho. Her visit to Walsh preceded a weekend-long retreat at Queen of Heaven Parish, Uniontown, November 9 and 10, in which she addressed the same topics.

Ilibagiza, an internationally acclaimed author, is a Tutsi survivor of the genocide that swept Rwanda from April to July 1994, when ordinary Hutu citizens rose up against their ethnic rivals, the Tutsi people. More than 800,000 people were killed in the 100 days of the holocaust. Nearly all of Ilibagiza's family – including her father, mother and two brothers – were among those viciously murdered. She survived the horror by hiding in a 3-foot-by-4 foot bathroom with eight other women. The bathroom was in the home of a local Hutu Protestant pastor, the only home in the small village with indoor plumbing, let alone two bathrooms. Iligabiza entered the bathroom a vibrant, young college student. She crawled out of the niche, terribly emaciated but with incredible spiritual strength and a thirst for forgiveness.