AFRICA / ERITREA – Young Eritreans celebrate the first WYD in the history of the national Church
Asmara (Agenzia Fides) – The youths of the four eparchies of Eritrea, in all 550 delegates, gathered in the arch eparchy of Asmara in what was the first celebration of the National Youth Day in the history of the Church in Eritrea. As reported to Fides by the local Church, reasons of distance, economic problems, government policies are some of the obstacles that prevented young Eritreans from taking part in the World Youth Day celebrated at the end of January 2019 in Panama (see Fides 22/1 / 2019).
Given these circumstances, the National Pastoral Office wanted to organize the event at national level, last February. The importance of the meeting was highlighted by the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio of Eritrea and Sudan, now appointed in Kenya, Msgr. Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, who reminded young Eritreans of the message addressed by Pope Francis to their peers gathered in Panama, making them feel part of the great event of world Catholic youth: “Pope Francis loves you. Your faith is in your blood and in your land. The Holy Father often asks me about you and prays for you because he is aware of your situation, “said Archbishop van Megen.
Fr. Fikremariam Hagos, the first Bishop of Segheneity, who took part in the Synod on young people celebrated at the Vatican last October, took the opportunity to share his experience as delegate to the Synod and to explain how the Church “wants to help young people to grow in faith and to discern their vocation “.
The celebration of this National Day ended with the Eucharist celebrated by Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam together with the Apostolic Nuncio, the bishops and many other priests who were present. “Even the young people of our time must listen to their parents, just as Jesus, despite being God, listened and asked questions to the elderly and to the priests. Following his example, all young people should learn to listen to the wisdom of the elderly and ask questions to learn more, without stopping and saying: I know everything “, said during the homily Msgr. Menghesteab.
As a result, the young people expressed their gratitude to Pope Francis and promised to continue to pray for him and the Church, as well as expressing their hope and their deep desire that one day Pope Francis may visit Eritrea. (AP)