Four new bishops have been consecrated in Burundi. Two of them will serve the province’s new dioceses of Rutana and Buhiga.
Buhiga played an important part in the history of Anglicanism in Burundi as it was the site of one of the first mission stations in the country, established in 1935. The former Primate of Burundi, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, told the new diocese’s first bishop, Evariste Nijimbere, to “be an enabler of the Church, to do the work God wants, to share God's love and to care for people.”
The current primate of Burundi, Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho, oversaw the inauguration of the diocese of Rutana and its first bishop, Pontien Ribakare. He stressed the importance of accepting advice from others and urged the new Bishop to be a servant-leader of others as Jesus was. He must rely not on his own strength but trust in God who turns weaknesses into strengths, he said.
Also ordained was the new Bishop of Matana, Seth Ndayirukiye. He succeeds Archbishop Ntahoturi, who will shortly be commissioned as director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.
Archbishop Ntahoturi, who has led the Diocese of Matana for the past 19 years, expressed thanks to all who had supported him during his time as Bishop, including those in Matana, partners in other denominations and those from other parts of the world, and also the Government of Burundi, and especially the President.
The final ordination was the Coadjutor Bishop of Gitega, Aimé Joseph Kimararungu, who will replace Bishop John Nduwayo on his retirement next year.