Meki Inaugurates Newly Constructed Cathedral in the Vicariate’s Silver Jubilee
The Apostolic Vicariate of Meki inaugurated the newly constructed of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral on May 24, 2017 the feast day Kidanemihret (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) according to the Ethiopian Liturgical Calendar. The Cathedral was blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Berhaneyesus, C.M., Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa, President of CBCE and AMECEA Chairman following the Holy Mass concelebrated by His Grace Archbishop Luigi Bianco, Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia, all the Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and priests.
The completion of Cathedral that has the capacity to hold more than 1500 people at a time coincides with the Silver Jubilee of the Apostolic Vicariate of Meki since it was elevated from Apostolic Prefecture. The foundation for the construction of a bigger Cathedral was laid six years ago with the hope that Meki town, which is located central to many cities in South of Ethiopia, will be a pilgrimage center to all those who seek the intercession of Our Lady.
On the occasion His Excellency Bishop Abraham Desta, Apostolic Vicar of Meki said that the completion of the Cathedral at this time is a witness that God is always with those who trust in Him throughout their most challenging time. He said this recalling the very stressful situation the Vicariate went through last year with the loss of many of its properties including the burning of a Parish.
“We have just closed the extraordinary Year of Mercy during which time our Vicariate underwent a lot of challenging and difficult situation. Meki Vicariate was tested as the gold is tested in fire in order to testify whether it is pure or not. I must say we were tested deeply to check our confidence in God. But today with a grateful heart I can proudly say that these moments of challenges has brought us more closer spiritually, mentally and physically to God Our Loving Father,” said Bishop Abraham.
The Apostolic Vicar also recalled that when the construction of a bigger Cathedral was planned the Vicariate did not have set aside budget for it but it was started with the encouragement of all the clergy, the religious men and women and all the faithful and friends of the Apostolic Vicariate of Meki. He thanked God for providing all the blessings that he provided through all friends and family of the Vicariate in the country and outside of Ethiopia.
“This Cathedral which has been consecrated today is the fruit of those who journey with us in faith and hope. As the saying goes a house is made of bricks but the home is made of hearts, and that is what we have experienced today when we look at and admire this place of worship. I am speechless before God and you for the blessing we have received from God Almighty,” exclaimed the Bishop of Meki.
The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and inauguration of the Cathedral is attended by clergy, religious men and women, representatives of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and a good number of the faithful from different parts of the country.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Meki entrusted to the Consolata Fathers in 1970. Taken from the Apostolic Vicariate of Harar, and it was erected Apostolic Prefecture on March 6, 1980 with Fr. John Bonzanimo appointed the Apostolic Administrator. On December 8, 1981 His Excellency Bishop Yohannes Woldeghiorghis was appointed the Prefect Apostolic of Meki. Meki was elevated to Apostolic Vicariate on January 25, 1992 with H.Ex. Bishop Yohannes the 1st Apostolic Vicar of Meki. Currently there are 14 Parishes and 82 outstations in the Vicariate and the number of Catholics has tripled since it was elevated into a Vicariate.