We asked Rigobert Kyungu to tell us how this academic work on Bishop Munzihirwa had touched him on a personal or spiritual level. Here is his testimony:
What touched me was how he was a tireless seeker, always dissatisfied with his research; he wanted to get to the bottom of things, both spiritually and intellectually. On the spiritual level, he discovered Ignatian spirituality through contact with the Missionaries of Africa, who were his first formators. Admiring religious life, he left the diocese where he had been a priest for five years, to enter the Society of Jesus, in order to deepen his knowledge of Ignatian spirituality. On the intellectual level, he took advantage of any free time for research in the library. Before the episcopate, he devoted himself to his doctoral research, but he never completed his doctorate, on the one hand because he continued to search endlessly, and on the other hand because he was always called upon to assume great responsibilities. He was therefore a man of “depth,” as Adolfo Nicolás would say.
I was also touched by his inner freedom. He was attached neither to power, nor possession, nor merit. This freedom, acquired in the pride of his culture and made strong by the Spiritual Exercises, made him a man of the prophetic word,parresia. He knew how to challenge consciences and tell the truth without fearing anything, not even death. It is a freedom that is linked to Ignatian spiritual discernment. Finally, there is also his cultural rootedness. Educated in the values of his culture, he made good use of them throughout his life. My thesis analyzed about fifty proverbs that he used in his writings. In our country, a man who knows how to use proverbs in his language is a true sage. But as a man of the Church, this translates into inculturation, which was so dear to him, from the reform of Vatican II until the holding of the first Synod for Africa in 1994.