Fr. Rukulatwa Kiiguta
Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. John de la Salle,
The news of my assignment at your parish as your pastor gives me great excitement. After Bishop Joseph Perry broke the news to me that His Eminence Francis Cardinal George O.M.I has appointed me as pastor of John De La Salle, I quickly made a visit to your website. It enabled me to know that you are indeed people of faith, a warm and welcoming parish. I also talked to your outgoing Pastor Fr. Michael Knotek who warmly welcomed me and pointed out that you are a great community of faith and to serve you is a privilege and honor. I am blessed to be part of you and serve you. I know you would like to know more about me.
I, Rev. Avitus Rukuratwa Kiiguta, (I prefer to go by my last name-Kiiguta) was born and raised in Bukoba-Tanzania. I am the sixth child of eleven children, two are girls and nine are boys. My father, sister and younger brother passed away more than ten years ago. I was born in a strong Catholic family from which, I believe, my vocation to priesthood was born and nurtured. At an early age I was an altar boy and a choir member.
My journey to priesthood started very early too. I joined the minor seminary when I was in the sixth grade in 1987. I proceeded to the High School Seminary and graduated in 1992. In accordance with the Tanzanian Educational system, I went to Advanced Level Secondary School (1993-1995) where I took Pure Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in my preparation to become an electrical engineer. But God had His upper hand in this, so I joined the Congregation of Camillian Fathers, (Servants of the sick), as their potential candidate. I entered a Major Seminary in 1997 at Consolata Institute of Philosophy in Nairobi, Kenya. I graduated as a Philosophy Major with a BA in Philosophy from Urubaniana University in Rome and a Diploma in Religious Studies from Consolata Institute of Philosophy in 2000. As I pursued my education and formation goals I was certain that God truly called me to be a priest. But, what type of priest? This was the unanswered question. As time went by, I realized and desired to be a missionary and diocesan priest. God knew and fulfilled my desire.
I joined the Archdiocese of Chicago in August of 2000 as a candidate to the priesthood. I spent one year at TUITE HOUSE (for Africans joining the Archdiocese) that was located at St. Columbanus in the Southside of Chicago. I then joined University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. At the seminary I was involved in leadership. I was elected a president of Mundelein Seminary students' governing body known as Peer Ministry. I also founded an African choir, which is one of the vibrant choirs participating in daily worship. I graduated with Masters in Divinity (MDiv), Sacred Theology Baccalaureate (STB) and Sacred Theology Licentiate (STL).
I was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in May 20th, 2006 and assigned at Sacred Heart Parish, Winnetka, IL where I have served as an associate pastor for almost five years. I hope I bring academic, spiritual, pastoral, and social experience and growth ready to engage in ministry at St. John De La Salle.
With a love of God and His people, I come to you with a warm and zealous heart to serve you. While I prepare to be with you in a few months please be assured of my prayers as I request that of yours.
Yours in Christ,