The mass itself was in a small room. Chairs around a table (the altar) in a semi-circle. We practiced a few songs before mass. Most in English. Ganza wanted to say his first mass in English for us. It was hushed, solemn. We could hear the city sounds through the open windows. It was just our little group with another priest and a “priest to be” in attendance. The mass itself was very much like what I remember from all those years ago when I went to Catholic church. Lots of memorized prayers and responses including the Apostle’s Creed and the Our Father. Even though it has been a very long time since I have been to mass, the responses and prayers came forth automatically. There were long times when Ganza spoke directly to us. His message was love and forgiveness, strength that comes through mercy. Many of his prayers were spontaneous. He thanked us over and over for coming to Rwanda. He asked us to tell the world about what we see here. He said we were brave for coming. I didn’t feel brave. When I thought of all of the pain these beautiful people have gone through and their willingness to reconcile… That is bravery (video - Rwanda, No Bravery). Stepping out of my little comfort zone to come to stay with these wonderful people does not seem brave when I consider Rwandans.
With Ganza after Mass. A wonderful man in brave times.
Ganza prayed for the Tutsi and the Hutu. He prayed for people in conflicts all over Africa. His prayers spun out in an ever widening circle until it encompassed the world. I wish so much that I could have recorded the sermon, the whole service really because I can’t remember the exact words. Prayers for thanksgiving. Prayers that we might be the best people we can be and use our goodness to make the world a better place. Prayers of hope. Prayers of love.