Bishop Angelo Pagano was last Sunday consecrated as the Vicar Apostolic of Harar in Ethiopia. The colourful ceremony took place at Diredawa St. Augustine Catholic Church. The new Bishop was welcomed to his Vicariate on 28 May at the Diredawa airport by the Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Cardinal Berhaneyesus, C.M., and Archbishop Luigi Bianco, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia. Also present were other Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia, the Mayor of Diredawa City Administration, students of Diredawa and hundreds of Catholics as well as people of good will.
On the occasion of his consecration Bishop Angelo, who has chosen “Love one another” (Jn 15:12-17) as his Episcopal motto, asked the congregation present to support him in his ministry with prayer.
“I humbly ask you to pray for the Christian community in the Apostolic Vicariate of Harar and for me so that God may give me a heart able to love and give consolation to his flock according to the feelings and will of Jesus the good shepherd,” he said.
The new Vicar Apostolic of Harar also took the time to pray for recently deceased Bishop Yohannes Miglioratti of Hawassa. He also prayed for Bishop Angelo Moreschi, the Apostolic Vicar of Gambella and for the Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Somalia, Giorgio Bertini, who are currently admitted in hospitals receiving medical attention.
Speaking at the same occasion, Bishop Emeritus of of Harar, Woldetensaé Ghebreghiorghis expressed his great joy for passing on the Catholic community of Harar to their new shepherd.
“Today when I pass on my spiritual children, all priests, religious women and men and all the faithful of Harar to Bishop Angelo, I consider him to be as lucky as I have been all these 29 years to have worked with you in spreading and witnessing the Good News to the people,” he said.
Bishop Woldetinsae also recalled some of the challenges experienced in the Vicariate. He appealed to the faithful to continue growing spiritually in prayer.
“Together we have been through a lot, but with your prayers we have passed the hardships and reached this stage; it is my wish that very soon we will grow even more, and I hope to see that day while I am still alive.”
At the time of his appointment, the new Vicar Apostolic of Harar was serving as parish priest in the Diocese of Kumbo, Cameroon. He was born on 15 January 1954, in Asmara, Eritrea and ordained priest on June 25, 1988.
The consecration ceremony was attended by 23 delegates from Cameroon including Archbishop Cornelius Fonteni Esua, the Archbishop of Bamenda and Bishop George Nkuo of the Diocese of Kumbo in Cameroon. Others in the company of the Bishops were priests, sisters and the faithful of Cameroon.
Harar lies far in the east of Ethiopia. The Apostolic Vicariate of Harar includes the Harar Regional State, the Diredawa City Administration, the Somalia Regional State, part of Afar Regional State and Western Hararghe of Oromiya Regional State under its jurisdiction.
(Makeda Yohannes, Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat)
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