Ethiopian Catholic Church Holds A Requiem Mass For Ethiopian Airlines Crash Victims. 

Ethiopian Catholic Church Holds A Requiem Mass For Ethiopian Airlines Crash Victims. 

Ethiopian Catholic Church holds a Requiem Mass for Ethiopian Airlines crash victims.

A requiem Mass presided by His Eminence, Cardinal Berhaneyesus, CM and con-celebrated by Bishops and priests in Ethiopia was held for the 157 victims of the Ethiopian airlines ET 302 crash on March 14, 2019. The Mass was held at the Holy Savior Parish in Addis Ababa organized by the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the International Catholic Community in Addis Ababa.

On the occasion, a bouquet of 157 white roses was prepared and 157 candles were lit to represent every victim of the crash. The parents and families of Mrs. Ama Teklemariam, a Catholic who was a crew member of ET 302, were also present at the Mass praying for the souls of all those who lost their lives and for the consolation of all who lost their loved ones.

His Grace Archbishop Luigi Bianco, Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Special Delegate to Somalia also read out the Blessing of the Holy Father, Pope Francis who offered prayers for the departed and entrusted their souls to God. The Holy Father also invokes the God of consolation to console the hearts of the bereaved families.

Speaking at the end of the Requiem Mass, Mr. Fikire Degef, who attended the event representing Ethiopian Airlines CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said that the victims have brought the world together in grief, shock and above all in prayer. He assured that Ethiopian Airlines will do its best to support the families of the victims to get closure.

“We at Ethiopian Airlines pray that they may rest in peace. We will work hard to accompany the families of the victims through this difficult time,” he said.

Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr. Vera Songwe, thanked the Catholic Church for bringing together the families, friends and colleagues of the victims and the international community in Addis Ababa to pray together with all the faithful for the victims souls and for the consolation of their families. She added that such a tragedy reminds us of our mortality and we have a limited time on this earth to do good in the world.

“We hope in coming together in this Mass to be consoled. The victims woke up that day hoping to do good for this world, to serve others. A tragedy like this reminds us of our mortality and encourages us to do better with our time on earth,” said the Under-Secretary General.

Speaking on the occasion was also H.E. Madame Amb. Catherine Mwangi, Ambassador of Kenya to Ethiopia. She also thanked the Church for gathering the congregation to pray for the departed. She said that coming face to face with the families of departed ones makes the situation even more saddening. She called on the entire congregation to pray for their consolation.

Let us pray so that God may grant them the grace to make meaning of their lives without their loved ones. Let us also pray for the government of Ethiopia and for Ethiopian Airlines so that they can be able to handle the bereaved families in a way they can get closure,” asked the Ambassador.

Before the final Blessing H.Em. Cardinal Berhaneyesus, CM, concluded the Requiem Mass by saying such a tragedy should remind us that we should live everyday as though it was the last day of our lives with integrity.

We should always be ready always for the coming of our Lord, we should decide to drop all that is bad in this world and chose only what is good. We should consider our differences as coloring to our world and live in harmony witnessing the Gospel in our lives. With such effort we are called to bring our country to a better development and this is a responsibility we have as citizens of Ethiopia and of the world,” the Cardinal said recalling the difficult time Ethiopia is currently experiencing.

He also called on all to unite in prayer for the souls of the departed in the accident and for the consolation of the bereaved families. He also prayed for Ethiopian Airlines management and staff that God may grant them the Grace to continue their services with the usual success.

Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace, Amen. 

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