immaculee pic survivors-of-war- 02-afCINCINNATI – February 18, 2016 – She spent 91 days hiding in a bathroom with seven other women and girls to escape the genocide in Rwanda that killed her parents and brothers. Immaculèe Ilibagiza will share her story of forgiveness, hope and joy when she speaks at Cintas Center on Monday, February 22.

The Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati said, “We are now in the midst of the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. Through a special slate of activities throughout the year, we aim to inspire local Catholics, and all people of good will, to know mercy and to show mercy more effectively to the vulnerable and marginalized among us. We are blessed that Immaculée Ilibagiza, a genocide survivor who has forgiven her tormentors, is coming to Cincinnati to share her story and message with all who wish to hear it. Her witness will challenge us all to more fully appreciate the power of God’s mercy.”

Rabbi Abie Ingber, Director for the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University, said, “At some point the world community will have to learn its lesson about genocide, we cannot go on slaughtering one another. In the meantime, Immaculée’ s story must be told, her burden must be lifted, her spirit must be shared. That is why our Center at Xavier University is so eager to be involved in this evening.”

Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charites, said, “We believe her story will bring the struggles of refugees who face unspeakable violence and persecution in their homelands to life and perhaps move people to show mercy.”

The event will begin at 7 pm. Books will be available for sale and signing following Immaculée’s presentation.

Archbishop McNicholas High School invited Ilibagiza to Cincinnati and partnered with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University to make her appearance free to the public.

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Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, a United Way Agency Partner, has been serving the most vulnerable in our community for 100 years. Our programs serve the poor, protect the vulnerable and welcome the stranger regardless of their religious background or country of origin. Our mission to enlighten, serve and empower is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 82,000 people each year. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.