The Angelicum Academy Invites You to Support Our Apostolate in East Africa

Eritrean Highlands

For two decades, we have been involved in assisting the Catholic Church of Eritrea – one of the world’s poorest nations, located in the horn of East Africa. Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia until 1993. The current population is 6.3 million. Eritrea is ranked as 210th per Capita Gross national product (GNP) among the world’s nations. This reflects the average income of the country’s citizens, which is $600 per year in Eritrea (= c. $ 2.00 per day).

The great majority of Eritreans are either Coptic Christian, Muslim or Catholic. Catholics have the ancient Ge’ez Rite (descended from the Alexandrian Rite of St. Mark) celebrated in the ancient Ge’ez language. Latin rite Catholics are also under the care of the Catholic Archeparch of Asmara.

Zeccarias Yohannes

Our work with the Eritrean Catholic Church began while His Excellency, the late Zeccarias Yohannes was Eparch (Bishop) of Asmara, Eritrea. Since them we have worked with his successor, the Archeparch of the Eritrean capitol of Asmara, Abune Menghesteab Tesfamariam.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary (above), Asmara. In 2016 the Angelicum Academy initiated Angelicum East Africa. We have also participated, with Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut, USA in supporting higher educational opportunities for seminaries, priest, nuns and laity. This allows the clergy to pursue higher theological studies.

You can join us. We are working to help establish a Cistercian monastery in the US, for Eritrean monks. Vocations are abundant in Eritrea, where there is a strong monastic tradition going back to the desert Fathers, but the extreme poverty and conditions make it very difficult for the monks there to handle the vocations and to house and educate them properly.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary (above), Asmara.

Two pioneering Eritrean Cistercian monks, Abbas (Frs.) Awte and Musie, presently in the US, wish to take the first steps towards establishing a monastery in the US for Eritrean, and American, vocations to Cistercian (think St. Bernard of Clairvaux) monastic life. The first and principal needs at present are for the necessary food, minimal health insurance (required by US Bishops) and a very modest car and auto insurance. The food and miscellaneous would be approximately $400 per month, per monk; health insurance approximately $220 per month each, and a used car, and auto insurance of approximately $ 1,200 per year, each.

We have already found them housing in a retreat center in the mountains of Colorado, so that is taken care of.
What we are hoping to do is help them find one year of assured support for these needs, while they determine the best location for their monastery foundation. That would mean $4,800 each for food for 1 year; $2,640 each for health insurance for 1 year; a used car ($3,000?); auto insurance $ 1,200, each. If you are able and wish to help with any of these needs,and thereby participate in the first steps of founding this proposed monastery, please let know at We can answer any questions you may have. Donations are tax deductible and 100% will go to the purpose indicated by the donor. Thank you!


In 2015 the Eritrean Catholic Church was established as a Metropolitan Church by Pope Francis. Above is a photo of the higher Catholic clergy in Eritrea celebrating that historic event.

Archeparch Menghesteab Tesfamariam