The Most Rev. Abraham Desta, Bishop of Ethiopia, will visit
Stritch on Monday, May 19 to discuss an ongoing Catholic Relief Services Pilot
Program supported by many in the University community.
Bishop Desta will be welcomed by Stritch President Dr. James
Loftus and Stritch First Lady Irene Prior Loftus at the event, which will include
a Mass, reception and program. The program will include reflections on the CRS
Ethiopia Pilot Program launched by Stritch trustee and Catholic Relief Services
Foundation trustee Arthur Wigchers and CRS partner Bishop Desta.
Bishop Desta is the Vicariate Apostolic of Meki in
Vicariate has a population of about 6 million people, 1% of whom are Catholic, but this small percentage
is not an issue for Bishop Desta.
“We give our services and what we have equally to all
regardless of religion,” he stated.
The Ethiopia Pilot Program, which is focused on teacher
training and empowering adolescent girls, was developed by Dr. Linda Gordy,
Stritch assistant professor and chair of literacy/language development, and is
supported by many Stritch faculty and other community members. Read a recap of the project as reported in
2013 Stritch Magazine.
Desta’s work focuses on water and sanitation, agriculture,
and strengthening family and communities.
He supports knowledge as the solution to the problems of poverty
plaguing his country. He stated, “Unless
we educate people, the circle of famine and hunger will continue and will
follow us throughout the forseeable future.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan referred to Desta as “a calm, steady,
faithful, hopeful, leader” who was impacting the future of his people.