ACN mourns the decease of Bishop Angelo Moreschi, Vicar Apostolic of Gambella (Ethiopia), who passed away on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th 2020, in Brescia, Italy. He was the first Catholic bishop and first ACN project partner who fell victim of COVID-19.
Bishop Angelo Moreschi was born on June 13rd 1952 in Italy and was a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He dedicated his priestly service to the poorest in Ethiopia. The Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella, which he had been leading as a bishop for 10 years, is a poor and underdeveloped area in the Western part of Ethiopia bordering with South Sudan, with ethnical and social unrest and conflicts, extreme poverty and lack of basic infrastructure.
In this difficult context Bishop Angelo Moreschi, who by the local population was called “Abba Angelo” (“Father Angelo”), due to his humble and selfless service, which he rendered to the entire population regardless to their religious believes or ethnical identity, became a beacon of hope for the region. Regardless his poor health, he fostered reconciliation among the different tribes, organized help for the numerous refugeesfrom South Sudan and let the Church be present even in remote and isolated places, some of which the priests in the rainy season can reach only by motor boats.
In an area of first-evangelisation, where many inhabitants did never ever hear about Jesus Christ, it was him who let the Gospel touch many hearts. „In Ethiopia I really understood the Gospel“ – this was the testimony he gave to ACN. He was a longstanding friend and project partner, who with the aid of ACN constructed many chapels in the villages, where the population recently had embraced the Catholic Faith and asked us to support his priests by Mass intentions and means of transport.
ACN is deeply saddened by this painful loss and continues to pray for him and for all victims of the Corona-Pandemy. May the Lord grant „Abba Angelo“ eternal rest and may the Angels lead him, whose name meant „Angel“, in paradise.