Ethiopian (Ge'ez) Catholic Church

 

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Rite: Alexandrian

Tradition: Ethiopian

Rescension: Ethiopian

Liturgical Form: Ùér’ata Qéddase (Divine Liturgy) of St Basil

Liturgical Language(s): Ge'ez (may include or be supplemented by Amharic)

The Ethiopian (Ge'ez) Catholic Church is a Church sui iuris of Metropolitan status, belonging to the Oriental Catholic Communion. (The parenthetical descriptor 'Ge'ez' is included in its name to distinguish it from the Ethiopian Latin Catholic Church.) The primatial hierarch is His Eminence, the Metropolitan Archeparch of Addis Ababa. In addition to the metropolitan archeparchy, the Church is organized under three eparchies in Ethiopia. In the diaspora, its faithful are canonically subject to the local Latin Ordinary within whose diocesan jurisdiction they reside.

Historically, Christianity in Ethiopia traces to the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch by St Philip, although it did not have an organized presence until the episcopal ordination of St Frumentius (Abune Salama Kesatie Berhan) as its proto-bishop three centuries later. Six centuries of separation from communion with Rome were followed by almost as many centuries during which there were limited and sporadic instances of union, none of which were sustained on an organized basis over the long-term.

The modern-day history of the Ethiopian (Ge'ez) Catholic Church is typically dated from the mid-nineteenth century and the endeavors of Father Justin de Jacobis, CM. Taking an approach radically different from that of the Capuchins and Jesuits whose missions, two centuries prior, had ended disastrously, Father Justin set out to recruit and develop an indigenous clergy. Moreover, he refused to supplant the local liturgical rites with those of the West. The newly-appointed Vicar Apostolic of the region, Bishop Guglielmo Massaia, OFM Cap, agreed with the wisdom of this approach, supported Father Justin in it, and adopted the same stance in his own work.

By the time of Father Justin's repose in 1860, the Abyssinian (later Ethiopian) Catholic Church can be said to exist. Still, it was a century later (1951) before an Apostolic Exarchate was erected and a native hierarchy ordained for Ethiopia.

[The Ethiopian (Ge'ez) Catholic Church formerly encompassed Eritrean Catholics, a distinct ethno-cultural constituency of faithful with whom it shares a common liturgical and spiritual heritage, although each retains linguistic and cultural praxis unique to their respective heritages. In January 2015, Eritrean Catholics were constituted as a distinct Church sui iuris.]

 


Icon: Detail from the iconic mural venerated as the Nine Saints of Ethiopia


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Metro Area: Denver (CO)
Ethiopian & Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Communities of Denver
Status: ACTIVE MISSION
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Metro Area: Boston (MA)
Ethiopian & Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Communities of Boston
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Metro Area: San Francisco - Oakland (CA)
Bay Area Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Community (Oakland)
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Metro Area: Seattle (WA)
Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Community of Seattle
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Metro Area: Las Vegas (NV)
Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Community of Las Vegas
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Metro Area: Washington (DC) - Arlington - Alexandria (VA)
Kidane-Mehret Ethiopian & Eritrean (Ge'ez) Catholic Church
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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We honor the relics of the martyrs, that we may adore Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants that their honor may be reflected upon their Lord who Himself says: "He that receives you receives me."

St. Jerome, Epistle 109:1, NPNF II, 6:212