Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catholic Author to Kick Off 40 Days for Life Campaign September 6

I learned that the local 40 Days for Life campaign in the Peoria area will feature a Catholic author who will be a powerful speaker.

Immaculee Ilibagiza is the author of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.  I read this book in 2007 and found it absolutely riveting.  I couldn't stop thinking about it for months, talking about it to everyone I met, and finding it difficult to process the mystery of evil and yet the power of forgiveness for healing.  It's been quite some time since I read it, but it brings up memories and makes me want to pick it up again.

I would highly recommend this book to adults, and older or more mature teenagers.  This book may not be for everyone, however.  Immaculee describes the genocide in great detail.  It's almost overwhelming at times, and yet so important to her story.

Immaculee has two other, more recent books out: Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa, and Led By Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide.  I have not read either of this books, but I've heard good things from other readers about these books.  Have you read either of her other books?  What do you think about them?

It turns out Immaculee spoke at Bradley University in Peoria around the same time that I first read Left to Tell, but I did not know about her speech until after it happened.    I definitely plan to attend Immaculee's talk this time, as well as have the opportunity to support a great cause in promoting life through peaceful prayer & witness.  Catholic Post readers will remember that I featured Abby Johnson's book Unplanned in February.  Abby is the Planned Parenthood clinic director who left the abortion industry, largely after the repeated witness and prayers of the original 40 Days for Life location in Bryan/College Station, Texas.  The impact of the 40 Days for Life campaign cannot be undestimated.

Following is the announcement I received about Immaculee's talk, with all the pertinent information:

Our local 40 Days for Life campaign will kick-off early this year with a rally on Tuesday, September 6th. The rally will feature internationally reknowned guest speaker Immaculée Ilibagiza.

Immaculée miraculously survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide by hiding with 7 other women for 3 months in a secret room in a pastor's house, as her relatives and neighbors perished. After the holocaust she confronted her family's killers and forgave them. She has worked with the Rwandan government to promote peace and healing, and in 2007 received the Mahatma Ghandi Peace and Reconciliation Award. Immaculée also started and directs the Left To Tell Charitable Fund to help children orphaned in Rwanda's holocaust, and orphans all over Africa.

The rally will also include musical entertainment, an overview of the 40 Days for Life campaign and the new initiatives we're embracing for 2011, a raffle on multiple items, and an introduction to our partner agencies. It will take place in the sanctuary of Grace Presbyterian's new church building on Route 91, just passed Grand Praire Mall. The event begins at 6:30 PM.

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