Missionaries of Africa on 14th January 2018 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their presence in Ethiopia.
The celebrations started with the Holy Mass that was presided over by Abune Tesfasellassie Medhin, Bishop of the Eparchy of Adigrat, Ethiopia joined by the Missionaries of Africa and many priests and religious working in the Eparchy.
In his speech Bishop Medhin thanked the Missionaries of Africa for their various contributions in the life of the Eparchy for the past 50 years of their presence. He emphasised on their hard work and dedication in the formation and teaching at the Major Seminary.
He also praised the courage and resilience of the first missionaries especially when the conditions were tough in the country. He also praised other Apostolic activities initiated by the Missionaries of Africa in St. Mary’s Wukro, Bruh Tesfa Youth Development Centerin Adigrat, Kidist Mariam, St. Paul’s Formation House and Kombolcha.
The Bishop went on to remind the Missionaries of Africa that for the future it will be important to stick to their charism and identity so as to make a unique impact in the Eparchy especially by adapting their charism and apostolic engagements to the current realities and challenges of today’s society. In a special way, he insisted on the formation of young people and families. “These two areas seem to be very important for our evangelization today in Ethiopia and in Africa as a whole,” he said.
On his part the EPO Delegate Superior, Rev. Fr. Bonaventure Bwanakweri said that the celebration of the 50 years is a time to look at the past with gratitude and thank God for the many blessings showered upon them and the Eparchy of Adigrat.
“It is also the time to live the present with great passion in our various apostolates and also to plan for the future with more determination, enthusiasm and hope,” he said as he thanked the Eparchy, the priests and religious working in Adigrat and the faithful for support, their proximity and pastoral generosity, care and collaboration. He also extended a word of gratitude to the Ethiopian Orthodox church and to the Muslims with whom they had been always working for peaceful living together.
The Missionaries of Africa came to Adigrat in 1967 in response to the Bishop of Adigrat Diocese, Abune Hailemariam Kahsay’s invitation to assist in the formation of the local clergy. Since then a good number of Missionaries of Africa have been teaching at the major seminary of Adigrat in both philosophy and theology departments. With time, the Missionaries of Africa extended their apostolate to various fields including; interreligious dialogue and ecumenism, Education(St. Mary’s College in Wukro), Justice and Peace and Integrity of creation, street children and orphans, youth ministry, girls/women promotion, vocation promotion and university chaplaincy.
By AMECEA Online News Correspondents