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Ethiopia’s Cardinal Souraphiel Celebrates 40th Priestly Anniversary

Vatican Radio || By Makeda Yohannes, Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat || 05 July 2016

cardinal souraphiel celebrates 40 priesthood yearsEthiopia’s Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, C.M., celebrated his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination Monday 4 July 2016. He used the occasion to recall the harsh reality of time in Ethiopia when citizens professing religious belief were persecuted. As a young priest, the Cardinal was himself arrested and isolated in a dark room for one month. On this 40th anniversary, the Cardinal says he thanks God for the protection bestowed on him.

Cardinal Berhaneyesus has urged young priests to take advantage of opportunities available to them today and spread the Good News tirelessly. He says the Church is now thinking about the next generation and is working on preparing people who can follow their call and become good pastoral agents.

“Family is the base for everything. In our Church, we are encouraging young Catholics to start families and raise their children according to the teachings of the Church,” he said.

The Cardinal also said that currently he is very concerned about the issue of illegal migration and stated that Africa needs to work as a united front to fight human trafficking and protect young boys and girls from being victims of this horrific act.

 “Pope Francis has assigned me to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, this is very critical for our country at this time as in Ethiopia and in the Horn of Africa, illegal migration is a burning issue,” he said.

Cardinal Berhaneyesus further expressed his hope and wish to see the Holy Father, Pope Francis visit Ethiopia.

“I dream to witness Pope Francis becoming the first Pontiff to visit Ethiopia.” He says that the government of Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) have already extended an invitation to the Holy Father to visit Ethiopia. The Cardinal is encouraging the faithful to pray for the realisation of this wish.

The prelate of Addis Ababa thanked the Lord for granting him 40 years of service as a priest and said that priests are never alone in their service as God is always with them.

“Priesthood is a life of service; we must always remember that our life is about serving Christ our Lord, and he is always with us. If we put him first and follow his calling then we can be successful in strengthening the dioceses, the parishes and the faithful and in turn we will strengthen our Church,” Cardinal Berhaneyesus said.

Source: Vatican Radio...

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