Evangelization

 

Taking into consideration the impressive socio-political, economical, cultural and religious developments which took place in Ethiopia in the past three decades (in the Political field from feudal society to socialist state to federal-parliamentary democracy; in the ethnic-cultural-religious sphere from monolithic language-culture-religious belief to decentralized administration, emergence of ethnic pluralism, introduction of local languages in educational-administrative structures and religious pluralism expressed in expansion of Islam and multiplication of Protestant sects…)

The Comboni Missionaries called to announce the Good News to all Creation. And our charism is called “First Evangelization”, going where there is no church or where people are not sufficiently evangelized, building-up the Christian community until we can give a church to the diocese with local clergy. We then move on and start over again! Helped by the Spirit, we strive to always act in function of the growth of the Kingdom ~ in all human situations, with attention to the poorest and most abandoned ~ forming activities that favour the integral development and liberation of the people we serve. Our gifts and talents vary greatly but we are united in bringing about justice, compassion and love to God’s people with the motto: “The World is Our Parish”.

What we do

First Evangelization; Pastoral Care, formation and development activities for the people of God that involves: Christian initiation; Administration of the Sacraments; Formation of   the Christian community; Pastoral ministry to Church groups; Missionary Animation and Vocation promotion; Organization and Development of structures of the Christian community; Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue; Witness of life and initiation of charitable activities; Promotion of peace, justice, reconciliation and integrity of creation. All these we do so that the missionary work may mature in depth and be consolidated to guarantee its functioning and permanence. Also it is done to support the maturation of the local churches by carrying out a work of consistent and logical preparation that will permit the members of the local church to assume the administrative responsibility as soon as possible.

Our missionary obligation also extends to the re-evangelization of Christian communities that by reason of superficial evangelization, or because of the lack of adequate religious assistance, are in a state of decline. Those territories where the local hierarchy does not yet exist, where maturity of Christian life as not yet been achieved, or where ecclesial structures are yet insufficient, also come within the sphere of our missionary activity.

 

Collaborate With Other pastoral agents

We recognize the importance of experiencing the apostolate in communitarian form, and we acknowledge the limitation of our congregation as pertains to lack of adequate material resources and personnel. Hence, we are very grateful to work with the missionaries from other congregations and with the local and Fidei Donum clergy.
We relate and collaborate with the local ordinaries with understanding that all priests, both diocesan and religious participate in and exercise with the Bishop the one priesthood of Christ and are hereby meant to be prudent cooperators of the Episcopal order. With the other priests the collaboration is principally manifested in relations that are always marked by authenticity, cordiality and true fraternal love founded on the priestly vocation we share.

 

Brothers and Sisters

The brother’s apostolate is open to any field of work where the ministerial duties of our priests are not directly required. We recognize in religious women who are at the service of the local churches, real collaborators in missionary activity. Religious women are very instrumental in the promotion of women activities, teaching in schools, running health institutions, catechetical institutions in the parish and in schools, youth ministry and charitable work.

 

Catechists

The Catechists have played and are playing a greater role in the work of evangelization of non-Christians. They have collaborated with our missionaries in establishing the church. Without the cooperation of catechists, an extensive, well-organized work of proclamation of the Gospel and of apostolate in new areas would not be possible, nor could the new Christian generations be given the thoroughly care they need.

 

Lay people

We value Lay people since they cooperate in the church’s work of evangelization. As witnesses and at the same time as living instruments, they share in a serving the church .The lay groups, especially from Europe America and Canada , have been working with the Comboni missionaries for many years. They have been of great help in teaching and management of temporary activities such as social development projects. They have been assisting the parish and diocesan activities with finance they collect from relatives and friends from their home countries. They have also been promoting the apostolate of laity. Therefore, collaboration in the mission helps us to complement each other; share missionary challenges with others and support one another

Concerning Awasa, the presence of a great variety of ecclesial entities and Institutes operating today in the Vicariate will call us to foster a redistribution of socio-pastoral responsibilities in order that other religious and lay pastoral forces take up positions of leadership and full responsibility. The future will see us more as collaborators and supporters of the Local Church than as direct protagonists of the human, social and Christian growth of the people.

 

Challenges

The main challenges we face today for our response in the spirit of our Charism are the following:

First evangelization of peoples or groups following traditional religions in South and Western Ethiopia.

Formation and animation of local clergy and male and female lay Christian leaders.

Pastoral care and new methods of evangelisation of young people, given that the great majority of the population is under 20

years of age.

Commitment to respond to the challenge of an impressive growth of religious sects through a deeper instruction of all the faithful

about their ‘Catholic identity’.

Awareness and response to the ever-growing expansion of Islam that is becoming more militant and increases steadily its control

on the economy of the country.

Human and Pastoral attention to the phenomenon of Urbanization with the new poverty it brings about (Street Children, ,

Prostitution, Alcoholism, Spreading of Aids…).

     

    The Country

    Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state.

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    The Ethiopian Catholic Church, formerly known as the Uniat Abyssinian Church, is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church within the Catholic Church. .

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