Parishioners of the Parish of Saint Gabriel in Wolisso in Ethiopia are proud of the fact that their families have been Catholics for many generations. Today, they number close to 1,000, with 700 or so living in the town of Wolisso itself, while another 300 live in a village 13 miles away.
Father Kebede Deju is very happy to see the faithful so actively involved in Church life and showing their great love of God. Above all, he is delighted at the 200 or so children who regularly come to church. At the same time, these children are a particular cause of concern to him, since during school holidays there is usually very little for them to do and so they often end up spending their time hanging around in the streets.
Father Deju has come up with the idea of organizing a seven-day holiday program, with the help of the local religious Sisters and seminarians, in order to give these children and young people a chance to engage in constructive and meaningful activities. At the same time, it will help them to grow in their faith.
The program will include looking at some of the stories in the Bible, which will be followed up later with an entertaining Bible quiz. The children will have a chance to pray and sing together, to get to know Jesus better and learn more about the Church and her Sacraments, how to practice Christian charity towards one another, and much more besides. This will help them to shape their lives after the pattern of their faith.
At the end of the program they will be given a Bible or another religious book and various devotional objects, such as rosaries or holy pictures, to take home as gifts. For most of these children, books especially are virtually unaffordable, and so this will be a precious gift for the whole family.
In order to make a success of these days, the parish is borrowing a loudspeaker sound system, and the children will also need to be provided with materials for their various activities. They will also need help with board and lodging, too. Given these expenses, Father Kebede Deju has turned to ACN for help, on behalf of all the children and young people.
He writes: “We, the children and young people of the parish, are praying together with our priests for the success of this project. We Catholics here are only few in number and we want to be able to strengthen our people through this course, so that they can learn more about the Catholic Church, its teaching and its sacraments, and experience the Bible as a whole, so that they can grow in faith and genuinely live their faith.”
“We are hoping and praying that you will be able to help us to proclaim the Gospel to the people in these rural regions and so achieve our goals.”
We are planning to help with a contribution of $5,900. Will you help Father Deju provide this holiday catechetical program for 200 children and young people in Ethiopia?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.