The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) has marked its Golden Jubilee this week under the theme “50 Years of Witnessing the Gospel.”
Speaking at the annual Church Partners’ Coordination meeting held to coincide with the Golden Jubilee, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel C.M., the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) praised the ESC. He said the Catholic Church through the Secretariat and diocesan offices responds to the needs of the people while reading the signs of the time through the light of Christ.
“The fundamental mission of the Church is to serve the poor. The Church does not remain silent in an ever changing world but responds through its different interventions of pastoral and social development in order to address the pressing needs of the time,” said the Cardinal.
He lauded the Secretariat for having been actively involved in works of mercy and compassion in order to respond to the spiritual and humanitarian needs of a drought-stricken society, the poor and the vulnerable throughout its 50 years of existence. Cardinal Berhaneyesus said that the Secretariat has been able to achieve all these successes being celebrated at the Golden Jubilee event through the effective collaboration made with the government and all partners and as well as with society.
The Cardinal Berhaneyesus added, “when we commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the ECS witnessing the Gospel in words and in deeds, it is the time to renew our commitment to the people we serve and to strengthen our partnership with all partners and stand with our government to ensure the sustainability of the development of our people and peace in the country.”
Secretary General at Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat, Fr. Hagos Hayish, C.M., expressed gratitude to the founding fathers of ECS and all who served as Secretary Generals in the past; the clergy; religious men and women; laity and all partners. He also noted that the annual Partners’ Coordination meeting would further strengthen the partnership between all pastoral and development agents in the Catholic Church.
“These coordination meetings have greatly contributed to the knowledge of who is doing what, best practices, mutual expectations and innovative initiatives,” Fr. Hayish said.
The Partners’ Coordination discussed different themes that are of current concern in Ethiopia and needs the attention of the Church. Some of these topics were peace and development, Mass Migration in the context of Eastern Africa, pastoral and evangelization strategies and their sustainability.
Present at the event that took place at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Centre were the Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia, Archbishop Luigi Bianco, Bishops, AMECEA Secretary General Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo, Secretary General of the Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia, representatives of Caritas Internationalis and other Caritas organisations, partners from different parts of the world, clergy, religious men and women working in Ethiopia. Over 150 people participated in the event.
The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat is the executing arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia. The secretariat marked its Golden Jubilee from 27 to 28 March.
(Makeda Yohannes at the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat in Addis Ababa)