Acta of the Holy See
AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella erected, first Apostolic Vicar appointed
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The Holy Father Benedict XVI, on December 5, 2009 has elevated the Apostolic Prefecture of Gambella (Ethiopia) to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate, with the same name and territorial configuration. The Supreme Pontiff has appointed as first Vicar Apostolic of Gambella (Ethiopia), the Fr. Angelo Moreschi, SDB, current Prefect Apostolic of the same ecclesiastical district, bestowing on him the Titular See of Elefantaria of Mauritania.
The Apostolic Prefecture of Gambella, entrusted to the Salesians (SDB), was incurred November 25, 2000, following the division of the Apostolic Prefecture of Jimma-Bonga. The new territory covers an area of about 50,000 sq. km. and is inhabited by 507,000 people with 8,430 Catholics, 8 parishes, 10 diocesan priests, 4 religious priests, 9 nuns, and 6 seminarians.
The religious of St. John Bosco founded new parishes and undertook various initiatives from the beginning. Among them is the construction of a technical school, which aims to prepare youth for work, as well as the realization of some projects in agriculture. Also, in the area of health, three Italian doctors came to open a clinic to Abwobo. Given their commitment to educational work and solidarity, in some regions - especially in Jur, to Gog, and Abwobo, the permanent presence of the Catholic Church has been requested.
Fr. Angelo Moreschi, SDB, was born in Nave, in the Province of Brescia (Italy), on June 13, 1952. He was ordained priest October 2, 1982. He has lived in Ethiopia for over 30 years. On February 25, 2001 he was installed as the first Prefect Apostolic of Gambella. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 5/12/2009)
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