In 1974, I was born in Burundi, a tiny country with Roman Catholicism as the main religion. However, in this region, Roman Catholicism and African traditional religions and beliefs still operate side by side. As a matter of fact, the different dark periods of the history of Burundi have been marked by the involvement of the members of clergy and the faithful either in the planning or in the carrying out of mass killings. I was marked in a special way by the role of the Catholic Church in my neighboring country Rwanda where, as opposed to my country, many members of the clergy were directly involved in the genocide. When I was growing up in Burundi, these experiences puzzled me and triggered numerous questions about my faith. I believe that both Rwanda and Burundi need to have a retrospective dialogue to inquire about the role of traditional beliefs in daily life decision-making and what the Catholic faith may offer to overcome the tribal conflicts that continue to ravage the region. As I now ponder about my role as a ...
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...t an accusatory attitude but to accompany them and share with them the mystery of our faith. After having made some friends among them, I was able to ask some critical questions about their culture and was able to gather information that allowed me, and my team to interact with them smoothly.
With these experiences, I have realized that I need to continue learning more from people’s experiences through dialogue and accompaniment. Given that I am planning to continue working in pastoral and educational fields after I finish my studies here at Boston College, I found that the FASPE program could enrich my training in order to better serve a culture that is different from mine in many ways.
Finally, I believe that I can bring many contributions the FASPE program through sharing with the other attendees my experiences in different cultures and religious settings.
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