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Help Build a Village Chapel in Ethiopia

The Apostolic Vicariate of Soddo lies in southern Ethiopia, 240 miles south of the capital, Addis Ababa. Covering a territory of some 18,000 square miles, the vicariate is home to almost 192,000 Catholics. The number of parishes is growing: there are now 34 of them, along with numerous outstations that are also increasing in number. Most of these parishes are still in their infancy, and many of them lack basic parish structures. The faithful are willing and enthusiastic and often build their own small wooden grass-roofed chapels – after the manner of the typical local “Tukuls” – with their own hands. These do not last long, however, and rapidly become too small for the growing communities.

A typical example is the Parish of Saint Francis in Kanafa. It has a total of 21 outstations, organized in five different pastoral zones. Only one of these has a permanent chapel, built of durable materials such as concrete blocks. Now we have received a request from the parish priest, Capuchin Father (Abba) Abraham Waza, for help to build a solid chapel in another of these outstations, Dakaya.

The village is 10 miles from the central parish and can only be reached via rough, hilly tracks, making it impossible for the 500 Catholic faithful in Dakaya to get to the central parish for Sunday Mass. Their existing chapel of the Archangel Gabriel is by now dilapidated and far too small. Most of the Catholic faithful have to stand outside during Holy Mass, in the full glare of the tropical sun. “My fear is that more and more of my parishioners may desert us for the sects,” says Abba Abraham sadly.

Once the new church has been built, it is intended that Dakaya will become an independent parish in its own right. But, as Abba Abraham wrote to us, “on account of the poverty, the backward agricultural methods and the slow progress of civilization, and the resulting constant poverty and hunger in the region, the people of the parish are in no position to fully fund the project themselves – though they are ready and willing to provide wood, straw, water and their own manual labor to see the construction of the new chapel through to completion.”

We would be only too happy to help with the $17,000 needed to ensure that the new chapel can indeed be completed.

Would you be willing to contribute to the building of this village chapel 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.

Code: 118-01-19

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