The Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King are an order of nuns, brothers and lay whom Fr. Ubald is working with. A new congregation whose members are engaged to help people to get peace once more after genocide against Tutsi tribe in Rwanda and war after that genocide. People are traumatized and Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King helps them with Christian listening, and works for mediation when conflicts are realized. The congregation takes care of autistic children because in Rwanda the parents were hiding them. Old priests are taken care of because they were abandoned without anyone to care for them, the list is not completed every thing which can be the reason for lack of peace the missionaries try to solve.
The association is created to promote the spiritual, social and technological welfare aiming at justice and peace generally in Africa and particularly in Rwanda through the following objectives:
- To promote a human complete development based on the Christian and traditional education values encouraging justice and peace.
- To contribute to the prevention of the conflicts, by sustaining workshops of practice to mediation and by stimulating dialogues between communities
- To contribute to the reconstruction of the social links ruined by violence by setting up community development actions
Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King (APAX)
Sr. Donata Uwimanimpaye is the founder and Director of The Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King in Rwanda. In 2000, Sr. Donata earned a Master’s Degree in Peace Psychology and theology from Fribourg University in Switzerland. She came to the United States for her internship and conducted research in the field of Conflict Resolution for her Master’s Degree in 1999. While in the US she completed the Mediation Training Program conducted by the Iowa Peace Institute and the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution. In May of 1999 Sr. Donata and Noa Zanolli Davenport participated in the 8th Annual Conference of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at California State University in Sacramento to present on a paper they co-authored.
After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda Sr. Donata wanted to address the failures of teaching peace values in education in her country. Among those values are human rights, justice, dignity, love, compassion, empathy, liberty and a deeper life in a dynamic, unifying, spirituality of peace. Spirituality of peace is not only the theory, but the practical application of these values. Sr. Donata realized that the American theory she learned focused on social mediation in practice. In ancient Rwandan culture mediation was social and spiritual and all Rwandans were linked to this kind of spiritual life for their wellbeing.
The idea came to Sister that she would have to form young people to become spiritual, social, and economic mediators. She would need to find a group of people who would devote their lives to this kind of peace education. This core group will be trained in conflict resolution skills. They will then begin to spread the word about the project as well as help train educators and students to implement these skills in the schools. If possible the core group would eventually train families. This core group will be called Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King. “As a Catholic nun, I believe that true peace can be asked and received from God in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, although we don’t neglect the social and economic aspects.”
In January 2001, Sr. Donata received the recommendation of the Bishop of Ruhengeri Diocese to form her community, Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King (APAX) and continue her work to build a sustainable peace for Rwanda and the world. During that time she continued work on her research and dissertation. In 2010, Sr. Donata received her PhD in Peace Psychology and Education from Fribourg University. The theme of her dissertation is “Rôle de l’éducation à la paix dans le développement intégral de la personne”.
In the fall of 2010 Sr. Donata and Fr. Ubald met to discuss their common call to found a congregation with the mission of building and teaching peace in Rwanda. At this time Fr. Ubald started to closely collaborate with Sister Donata and he became the Spiritual Director of APAX with permission of his Bishop. As the congregation has developed and formalized its mission, teaching, and formation, Fr. Ubald and Sr. Donata consider themselves co-founders of the Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King. With Fr. Ubald’s charism of healing and spiritual direction, the community continues to grow in its work and mission. Members of the community often travel with Fr. Ubald and participate in his healing and evangelization services to teach about love, unity, pardon and reconciliation. He also continues in his role of Spiritual Director, Retreat master and priest for the congregation.
Sr. Donata has stated; “The presence of Fr. Ubald in our group is seen as a blessing from God to the Missionaries of Peace of Christ the King.”
For the past 10 years the challenges of APAX have been:
- Lack of permanent administration personnel
- Limited human and financial capacity
- Lack of consistent transportation
Projections for the next 5 years:
- Construction of training center for members of the congregation
- Pilgrims house and center for Peace Education and Spirituality in Kibeho
- Training for people who want to engage in peace efforts in their communities
- Reinforce existing education and pastoral activities overall
- Begin partnerships with other communities engaged in peacemaking
- Further educational training including Bachelor’s, Master’s & PhD levels in peacemaking, administration, and management.