If you come to Mass at the Newman Center soon, you might hear hymns with a uniquely cultural vibe. On September 24th, angelic tunes were created by a group of about twenty students from Rwanda, who are currently full-time students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Last July was the first time the group came together to sing. Upon hearing of their friend Elvis's death, they thought of it as an opportunity to honor him at his funeral.
Jean Claude Mbarushimana, a founding member of the choir, reflected on the experience of singing at his friend's funeral. "We found it as a way to express our love to our deceased brother, to his family, and to the entire community that came to the Mass." The devotion that afternoon was a great gift to all who heard it.
Shortly after the funeral, Father invited the group of Rwandan students to the rectory for brunch. Wandering around the rectory, the students found a piano and began singing as Father Matya and Father Mills listened. Despite the songs being in a different language, the priests thought the songs were beautiful. Soon, the group was scheduled to sing at a Sunday Mass!
Jean Claude is beyond excited about this opportunity. “What a beautiful way of getting involved at the Newman Center! Saint Augustine once said that someone who sings prays twice. Singing helps me reflect on how God's love is in my life. This brings me joy and peace. Being a part of this choir makes me feel like we are creating this environment of meditation for all of the Newman Center students.”