16 October 2014

Obituary: Fr. Joseph Ntawuyankira

Fr. Joseph Ntawuyankira, National President of AUC in Burundi

Fr. Ntawuyankira was born on March 19, 1964 in Burundi in Mwurire, in the Province of Gitega Ntawuyankira, where he later became AUC national president. He attended the Pontifical Urban University in Rome where he graduated with a specialization in Biblical Theology and was also in possession of a diploma in Social Science obtained from the same University. 

During his priestly life, he held important positions such as Rector of the young Burundians enrolled at the Polytechnic University of Gitega (2013-2014). He was also Professor of Sacred Scripture (New Testament) at the inter noviciate in Gitega.  His rich professional experience brought him to the service of training young Burundians to ordained ministry as Academic Director at the John Paul II Major Seminary at Gitega (2008-2013), where he was in charge of Biblical courses.  He was also the Professor of Scripture in the Institute of Higher Education and Catechesis at Butare (close to Rwanda). He taught New Testament in Italy at the Institute of Religious Sciences of Temple Ampurias in Sardinia (2004-2005). Father Joseph was also parochial vicar of Santa Maria degli Angeli at Santa Maria Coghinas in 2003-2004, where he also served as the Vice Rector of the Minor Seminary.

The resume also includes teaching in his archdiocese of origin (Gitega). In the Pastoral field, he also had responsibilities as Sunday Vicar in the parish and educator in charge of discipline in the Minor Seminary of Mugera. 

As the news of his death reached at the AUC headquarters, a Mass was celebrated in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica for his eternal rest. Through a letter to the Bishops' Conference of Burundi, the international leadership has expressed its closeness to his diocese of origin, to his bishop, to his family and to the many young people and adults who had known him and have witnessed to his untiring work in the Lord's vineyard.