Robe (Agenzia Fides) – The presence of the Catholic Church in the Ethiopian region of Oromia has spread another hundred kilometres from Dallo Manna, southward in the province of Madda Walabu. It is still a presence of “pre-evangelisation”, Fides learns from local sources, with a social programme of food security , sponsored by Caritas Korea.
“I have always wanted to establish even a small presence in Madda Walabu, considered mythically by the Oromo as the origin of their people. Madda Walabu means ‘source of freedom’ which says much about the cultural and spiritual importance of this place”, Fides learned from Fr Angelo Antolini, OFM Cap, Apostolic Prefect of Robe. “In Bidirè, the main centre of the Province, we have a small office with notice saying for the Catholic Church. Recently I too went with my co-workers to take a gift of 600 egg laying chickens to 100 families. The people, the women especially were overjoyed”, the missionary continued” . the Apostolic Prefect told Fides, “before the distribution my co-workers told the people about the Catholic Church presenting me and when I spoke with them there were smiles of gratitude all round. A small gesture but we did introduce ourselves and were offered a warm welcome in a totally Muslim context”. “The project will last for three years. These small steps we hope will be a beginning and perhaps lead to a missionary presence directly from Korea ”, Fr Antolini hopes. (AA/AP) (29/11/2018 Agenzia Fides)