Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, May 21, 2018

Immaculee-and-studentsWEST HARTFORD – Rwandan refugee and author Immaculée Ilibagiza told her story of survival, forgiveness, faith and hope to hushed audiences this week at Northwest Catholic High School.

Her presentation grew out of her 2007 book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, a haunting tale of the 91 days she spent hiding with seven other women in a tiny bathroom during the three-month genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

During her captivity, Immaculée said she discovered the power and solace of prayer, which helped to strengthen her relationship with God and the Blessed Mother and enabled her to forgive those who slaughtered her family and her countrymen.

The book was required Summer reading for all NWC students this year, and it was also adopted as the school’s "community book" in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary.


Immaculée spoke on Oct. 24 to a captivated audience of parents, alums and others. On Oct. 25, she met with some students and then spoke to all students, faculty, and staff.

Left to Tell was a New York Times best-seller within weeks of its publication. It since has been made into a documentary. Immaculée was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, and Left to Tell was required reading for 6,000 students at Villanova University in 2007-08.