CROMWELL, Conn., Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Archeparch (Archbishop) Menghesteab Tesfamariam, MCCI, the highest ranking eastern rite Catholic churchman of Eritrea, recently spent three days at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. The Eastern Rite archeparchy (archdiocese) was created by Pope Francis on January 19, 2015, breaking it off from the Ethiopian Archdiocese, making His Excellency the Metropolitan Archeparch of Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, located in the Horn of Africa on its northeast coast.
His purpose was to visit Holy Apostles Seminary, vetted by the Vatican last year, which is educating twenty one of his priests and religious in Eritrea via Holy Apostles' Online Learning program. They had been introduced by Patrick Carmack, founder and CEO of Angelicum Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. in the summer of 2014. All are working towards Masters' degrees in order to provide staffing in the seminary and other roles requiring advanced degrees. Online learning is the only feasible alternative for priests and religious who are restricted by the regime from leaving the country until after age fifty, according to Archeparch Tesfamariam. "We need to provide advanced degrees for those who are educating our seminarians and religious, otherwise the formation of future pastors will not be possible and the Church would die out," he said. "We are tremendously grateful to Holy Apostles College & Seminary for this opportunity to work with them."
Archeparch Tesfamariam addressed the faculty of Holy Apostles at a luncheon and the students the next day, providing a powerful testimony of the work that is being done by the Church under tremendously difficult circumstances. He also spoke with the bishops of Hartford, Bridgeport and Norwich while they were at the seminary. Much of the ministry that is considered normal mainstays of the Church in the US is restricted or prohibited in Eritrea according to the Archeparch.
Last year, Archeparch Tesfamariam and the other three eparchs of Eritrea had published a pastoral letter that was also highly critical of the regime in control of the country, which had fought a bloody thirty-year war of independence from Ethiopia, won in 1991. Eritrea, whose sovereignty was recognized by the UN in 1993, is located in a volatile region of Africa across the Red Sea from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
About Holy Apostles College & Seminary:
Holy Apostles College & Seminary www.holyapostles.edu is a fully accredited, co-educational Catholic Liberal Arts college located in historic Cromwell, Connecticut, USA. Undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees in philosophy and theology, in on-campus, online and blended formats are offered. For more information contact [email protected] or call 860-632-3010 (Main Office) or 860-632-3070 (Online Learning Office).
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP
Vice-President of Administration
Holy Apostles College & Seminary
33 Prospect Hill Road
Cromwell, CT 06416-2027
SOURCE Holy Apostles College & Seminary