Bishop Abraham Desta of Ethiopia to visit Stritch May 19

Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:40:00 PM

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 Ethiopia.  His 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 the spring 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.