t Msgr. John E. Kozar visits the students at St. Gabriel School in Saesa. u A local resident greets the Rev. Abraha Hagos with a gift of goat milk.
There was a huge irony to this visit: We were there to document the effects of the drought and the fearful reality of famine, but once we arrived we encountered torrential rains. For the record, these horrific downpours did not end the drought or diminish the fear of famine. In fact, they have brought an entirely new catastrophe — devastating floods with the loss of life, both human and livestock, and more irretrievable loss of soil. And so the hunger continues. But the powerful faith of these suffering souls endures in these most difficult of times. Their participation in the faith life of the church in their remote villages was evident at liturgical celebrations. One such celebration was a mountaintop funeral liturgy in Aiga. Some 500 mountain dwellers from far and wide came to pray for
the eternal reward of the departed. Not only did some of them walk over dangerous mountains footpaths — some traveling for up to seven hours each way — but they carried the body on their shoulders for about ten kilometers, or six miles.
to endure in their faith. And in these very difficult times of drought, hunger and now the deluge, their needs are even greater. Please continue being generous and know how much the poor of Ethiopia love you and remember you in their prayers.
I was also privileged to visit some of the poor in their mountain homes. With a gentle traditional greeting — kissing my hands — they warmly welcomed us into their homes and immediately offered us their provisions for the day: bread, goat’s milk and coffee. For them, it was an honor to have a priest visit them. For me, it was an honor to be in the presence of holy people. I noticed that the cross was prominent, both in their homes and around their necks.
May God bless you.
Your gifts to CNEWA allow these children and the faithful of Ethiopia
Msgr. John E. Kozar
MSGR. KOZAR RECOUNTS MORE OF HIS TRIP TO ETHIOPIA ON AN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO:
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CNEWA
The official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)