ACN mourns the death of Bishop Angelo Moreschi, Apostolic Vicar of Gambella (Ethiopia), who passed away on the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 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 13 June 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 under-developed 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 of his poor health, he fostered reconciliation among the different tribes, organized help for the numerous refugees from South Sudan, and enabled the Church to be present even in remote and isolated places, some of which during the rainy season the priests can reach only by motor boats.
In an area of primary-evangelisation, where many inhabitants had not heard about Jesus Christ, it was Bishop Angelo who enabled the Gospel to 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 he 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 pandemic.
May the Lord grant “Abba Angelo” eternal rest and may the Angels lead him, whose name meant “Angel”, into paradise.