“It was the Lord who wanted it. I love the Lord, and I consecrated my life to work for Him. Being a Cardinal gives me the opportunity to do even much more for the Lord,” the Cardinal-designate who will turn 62 on November 10 said.
He went on to express his appreciation to Pope Francis for the trust saying, “I am incredibly grateful to the Holy Father for entrusting me with this responsibility. I love the Church; I enjoy working for the Church, and this will also give me the opportunity to do much more for it.”
“In the history of Rwanda, I am the first to be appointed Cardinal. In the region of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of the Region of Central Africa (ACEAC) which comprises Rwanda, DRC, and Burundi, we have two Cardinals in the DRC. Now it is a great joy for the Great Lakes Region to have one more,” the Cardinal-elect said October 26.
He extended his gratitude to his Brother Bishops in his native country and in the regional forum of ACEAC saying, “I am very grateful to my fellow Bishops in Rwanda and in the region for their collaboration, solidarity, and the work we do.”
“If the Pope made me a Cardinal, it is also thanks to the faith, work, and pastoral care of the entire community,” Archbishop Kambanda said.
Addressing himself to the people of God in Rwanda and the ACEAC region, the Cardinal-designate said, “I assure (my compatriots and those in the region) of my collaboration and solidarity, especially for peace and reconciliation, in this region.”
“We live in times of tension, now mixed with the COVID-19 pandemic. As pastors, we need to guide people towards peace, brotherhood, and sisterhood,” the Cardinal-elect who is the Chairman of the Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health (RICH) said.
The native of Nyamata in Rwanda’s Archdiocese of Kigali who was ordained a Priest in September 1990 has been a Bishop since July 2013. His episcopal motto is “Ut vitam habeant’’ (That They May Have Life).
In November 2018, Pope Francis appointed him the Archbishop of Kigali.
The Prelate who is currently the Vice President of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda (CEPR) and who doubles as the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace (CEJP) reflected on the progress made in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide.