Letter from Eparchs of Eritrea to Eritrean Catholics of Wahsington DC, Maryland and Virginia
Catholic Faithful of the Geez Rite
Arlington Diocese, United States of America
Asmara 15 October 2014
Dear Christ’s faithful Catholics of the Geez Rite in Arlington Diocese, United States of America
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:2).
The faithful residing in Washington DC and Virginia had requested us for many years in the past for a priest providing pastoral care. Your request for a priest and your great patience in waiting for our response is the fact known to all of us.
After many efforts and setbacks we are now ready to meet your pastoral needs in accordance to God’s will and collaboration of the bishop of the Arlington Diocese, Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde. We are missioning Revered Abba Hagos Tesfagabir of the St. Anne congregation to you. Abba Hagos will reside among you in the place prepared for him by the diocese and serve in accordance to the administrative policies of the Arlington Diocese. He will serve you for five years in collaboration with you and us. As a teacher, priest, and pastor Abba Hagos will serve you in Geez Rite the Holy Mass, the sacraments of the Church, Catechism for various groups, and visiting the elderly and sick.
Beloved faithful men and women, we have no doubt the great respect and love your will offer to your priest for you understand that respecting your priest is respecting yourselves. Your initial support to Abba Hagos until he settles is particularly essential. We implore you that you meet all his needs for livelihood in collaboration with the diocese of Arlington. “The Christian faithful, for their part, should realize their obligations to their priests, and with filial love they should follow them as their pastors and fathers. In like manner, sharing their cares, they should help their priests by prayer and work insofar as possible so that their priests might more readily overcome difficulties and be able to fulfill their duties more fruitfully” (PRESBYTERORUM ORDINIS, 9).
We encourage you with paternal care as we say with St. Paul: “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
With abundant greetings and blessings,