Sharing her story of survival and regained faith, author and motivational speaker Immaculée Ilibagiza will be visiting St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Community on Monday.

Ilibagiza survived the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 after spending 91 days huddled in a small bathroom with seven other women. Though most of her family was killed during the genocide that spanned about 100 days, Ilibagiza found help in letting go of harbored anger through prayer.

“All of a sudden life became more than just getting revenge,” Ilibagiza said. “(Living that way) doesn’t leave any chance for God to work.”

After moving to the United States in 1998, while also working for the United Nations, Ilibagiza began sharing her story and has penned six books to date. She is currently working on two more books and a movie is in the works based on her story.

Part of its Parent Education Series, Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler is leading the Oct. 29 event at St. Andrew the Apostle.

The series integrates speakers, events, and discussions that filter through four main themes of love, determination, faith and courage.

“It can be an opportunity for families to engage in and talk about issues,” said David Sorkin, the school’s assistant principal.

With past topics including youth and alcohol to making good decisions, Sorkin said Ilibagiza’s story can give students perspective on war and violent reactions.

“We have to be an instrument of peace,” added Ilibagiza. “It’s a choice we have to make.”

St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Community is located at 3450 W. Ray Road. Tickets are $15 and in limited availability. To purchase, visit

For more information on Ilibagiza, visit


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