Fr. Pascal Kasanziki grew up the youngest of seven children in Rwanda. After completing his B.A. in Education, he joined the Xaverian Missionaries, a Religious community dedicated to mission ad extra (outside of one’s country of origin and culture). In 1989 he made his first profession and was sent to Cameroon for Theological training. He completed his training and was ordained on August 15th, 1994, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Immediately after ordination, he studied English in London and was sent by the Xaverian Missionaries to serve in Sierra Leone and Guinea in West Africa.
After the mission experience in West Africa, Fr. Pascal was sent to Rome to pursue a specialization in Theology. Next, to the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, earning a certificate in spiritual direction, a certificate in human development and a master’s degree in spirituality. In 2013 he completed his time in Chicago with a doctorate in ministry.
Upon completion of his post graduate studies, Fr. Pascal’s sought to serve somewhere that was in great need of priests. After reading about the great distance that priests in Montana often travel to minister, he asked his Superior to reach out to the Diocese of Helena.
“Bishop George Leo Thomas very graciously welcomed me in Helena. While I was still discerning with my Superior General, he sent a letter to Rome showing his readiness to welcome me. The agreement was to allow me to work in the Diocese under the supervision of Bishop Thomas for five years, after which a final decision to either become a diocesan priest or to return to the Xaverian community would be made.”
Fr. Pascal started in the diocese in 2013, serving at Saint Patrick, Saint Joseph and Immaculate Conception Parishes in Butte. He then spent a year at the Cathedral of St. Helena and a year at Saint Matthew’s Parish in Kalispell before his current assignment at Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Dillon.
In February of 2018, Bishop Thomas officially incardinated Fr. Pascal Kasanziki as a priest of the Diocese of Helena.
Although this news was partly overshadowed by the announcement of Bishop Thomas’ assignment to Las Vegas, the people of the Diocese of Helena rejoice as we are truly blessed by Fr. Pascal’s presence. We look forward to many years of his joyful and pastoral ministry.
Fr. Pascal said, “I thank God for this missionary experience and pray the Lord to grant me abundant life to continue to shepherd His people with wisdom, kindness and joy.”
Fr. Kasanziki kindly submitted the information for this article.