By Fr. Denis Ryan SVD in Plumtree
Fr. Alex Garuai, SVD has died at the age of 61. Fr. Alex Garuai SVD was born in 1962 in the beautiful Island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. After finishing his university studies, he worked in the bank as a clerk. After some years of working, he decided to join the Society of the Divine Word. He was ordained on 31 May 1998. After ordination, he worked in Papua New Guinea for 12 years before he decided to work in foreign mission.
In July 2010, he arrived in Zimbabwe. Some of the notable assignments of Fr. Alex includes Ndebele language studies in Riverside (2011) and had a short stay in St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Waterford and Holy Spirit Parish, Nkulumane. By the end of 2012 up to 2016 he worked as assistant Priest in Charge of Mary Immaculate Mission, Gomoza, Diocese of Hwange. From 2017 to 2019 he was assistant Priest in Charge of Dlamini Catholic Mission. From 2019 to 2023 Fr. Garuai was Priest in Charge of St. Charles Lwanga Mission, Ndolwane while at the same time, he acted as District Superior of SVD Plumtree District.
As a missionary, Fr. Alex is admired for his simplicity, humility, and gentleness. Filled with joy and gratitude, he celebrated his 25th year anniversary as a priest on 31 May 2023 in the morning before he died in the afternoon of the same day due to heart failure. The celebration was attended by some parishioners of the Ndolwane community.
The day he became priest on earth is the same day he became priest in heaven. His missionary life in Zimbabwe has been outstanding life of simplicity, humility, and sacrifice.
Indeed, he lived a precious life as a missionary. He gave life for the sake of the mission and of the Kingdom of God. As our founder, St. Arnold Janssen once said, “Precious is the life given for mission.”