The Angelicum Academy Invites You to Join with us in Support of the Church in East Africa
For over two decades the Angelicum Academy has 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 near the very bottom 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 Orthodox Christian, Muslim or Catholic. Catholics have the Divine liturgy (Mass) in the ancient Ge’ez Rite (descended from the Alexandrian Rite of the Evangelist, St. Mark) celebrated in the ancient Ge’ez language. Both Ge’ez Rite and Latin rite Catholics are under the care of the Catholic Archeparch (Archbishop) of Asmara.
Our work with the Eritrean Catholic Church began in 1996 while His Excellency, the late Zeccarias Yohannes was the first Eparch (Bishop) of Asmara, Eritrea. Since then, we have worked with his successor, the Archeparch of the Eritrean capitol of Asmara, Abune Menghesteab Tesfamariam.
In 2016 the Angelicum Academy initiated Angelicum East Africa, which has graduated over 100 Eritrean students. We have also participated, with Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut, USA in supporting higher educational opportunities for Eritrean seminarians, priests, nuns, and laity. This allows them to pursue higher theological studies online.
In 1958, the Holy Savior’s Major Seminary was established in Asmara. After the new ecclesial circumscription in December 1995, the Seminary of Asmara became the Inter-Eparchial major seminary for all the four Eritrean Eparchies. Vocations are plentiful, but room and funds are scarce. It is now serving 48 students and 60 faculty and staff members, who will have no alternative seminary if it is closed.
The Holy Savior’s Major Seminary in Asmara as a formation center is the core of the Catholic Church of Eritrea. Since its establishment, the Seminary has contributed much to the local church: it is seen as a point of reference in terms of faith, it forms the pastoral agents of the country (priests and bishops), and its graduates set examples to others of what it means to be good, moral Christians and citizens. Each summer the seminarians are sent to different parishes and chapels to help in deepening the faith of the people by means of example, catechesis, and youth associations.
Unfortunately, the border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia had devastating consequences for the country. Indeed, in the two decades since the end of the war, the circumstances have worsened significantly. East Africa is now plagued with the worse locust swarms in memory. The Seminary is entirely reliant on grants from CNEWA and POPSA, with zero additional resources. This year’s budget for the seminary—covering food, education, fuel for the kitchen, vehicle maintenance, biomass and firewood, school materials, etc.—is $85,898.46. The two grants the Seminary has received total to $55,898. This leaves the Seminary in need of $33,898.46 to avoid closure. Bishop Kidane of the Catholic Eparchy of Keren has reached out to us for help as has Archeparch Menghesteab.
The Angelicum Academy will be matching donations up to $5,000 total, through the end of August. We hope you will join us in supporting the important work of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please consider donating below; every bit helps, and US doillars go a lot farther in Eritrea.
Please make any donation out to: Angelicum Academy, and memo: “Donation for Holy Savior’s Major Seminary, Asmara, Eritrea”, or use the donation form at the bottom of this page to donate today. Your donations are tax deductible. 100% of them will go directly to the Catholic Church in Eritrea to keep the only major seminary open. If you wish to contact the Archeparch’s Office for verification, we are happy to provide the email upon request.
Please email us at email@example.com for more information.
The Budget to Save St. Savior’s Catholic Seminary, Eritrea
Any amount will be greatly appreciated!