Between 7 and 10 May, there was a meeting in Rome of all the Eritrean Chaplains in Europe.
Our own Fr Ghebreyesus Ghebrezghi, a priest of the Diocese of Leeds who serves in the Blessed John Henry Newman Parish and is Chaplain to the Eritrean Catholic Community in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester was there…:
There are more than ten Eritrean Chaplains working in different cities of Europe. We are all members of the Eastern Geez Rite.
The main reason why we gather each year is to ensure a uniform and unique administration, in Liturgy and Sacraments; to grow in ongoing formation in our pastoral services by sharing our experiences; and to better know each other.
Fr Ephrem Andom from London, who is incardinated in the Diocese of Westminster London, and I were able to attend the meeting in Rome which included a course on how we could work and grow in our pastoral life and service. This course was led by our Archbishop Menghesteab.
On day two we met someone from the Holy See who oversees the Catholic immigrants all over the world who spoke about the current challenges and crises.
On the third day we met with a member from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who encouraged us to work hard and to keep our tradition and culture of the Eritrean Geez Rite, so as to enable the Eritrean Catholic immigrants to be strong in keeping their faith.
Finally, we were able to concelebrate Holy Mass with the Holy Father Pope Francis on Friday 10 May 2019. In his homily the Holy Father encouraged all who were present, both clergy and religious, to be as zealous and committed in their mission as was St Paul.