In the Parish of Fullasa in Ethiopia, there are just two priests serving a community of 39,000 Catholic faithful. The parish was founded in 1960 and is the oldest parish in the Apostolic Vicariate of Awasa in the south of the country. It is also the largest.
There are 72 villages with their own chapels, since the distance to the central parish church is too far for many people. In most of these chapels, it is only possible to celebrate Mass every two months or so. As a result, each of these communities has its own catechist who prays with them, instructs the children, young people and adults in the faith and leads the community prayers and liturgies of the Word – and is also authorized by the Bishop to distribute Holy Communion.
In order to pass on the Catholic Faith to others, the catechists themselves must be soundly formed. It is above all important for them to be able to help the young people to become firmly rooted in their faith, since there is otherwise a danger that these young people will be drawn away by the various sects, which are also active in the area.
Many of these catechists are still relatively new to their work, since in recent years many of the longer serving catechists have had to retire for reasons of age. Now they are being replaced by younger catechists who still lack experience and need continuing formation themselves.
To provide formation for these new catechists, the parish needs suitable teaching materials, including books, Bibles, instructional videos and related equipment for replaying and projecting films, etc. In addition, each catechist is to be provided with an alb to wear when leading the Liturgies of the Word. There is also a plan for every catechist to visit other parishes in order to observe and learn from the pastoral practice of others. This of course involves travel costs and also board and lodging in many cases.
ACN has already promised a contribution of $18,400 towards the cost of the basic and ongoing training of these 72 catechists.
Will you give to support the training of these young catechists, so that the Faith can flourish 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.