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Salesian Named Bishop of Awasa, Ethiopia

Italian-born priest has served as missionary in Africa

Pope Francis has appointed Salesian Fr. Roberto Bergamaschi, 61, as bishop of Awasa, Ethiopia.

Roberto Bergamaschi was born in San Donato Milanese, Italy, in 1954, gave his religious vows in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1982.

He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including as a missionary in Dilla, Ethiopia, parish priest, visitator of the Salesian Inspectorate of Ethiopia-Eritrea, and director of Salesian works of Gotera and of Mekanissa, in Addis Abeba. He is currently pastor of the St. Mary Help of Christians parish in Dilla, and member of the mission council and of the presbyteral council.

The Diocese of Awasa has a population of some 7.7 million, with just 216,000 Catholics. They are served by around 50 priests and 100 religious.

According to census numbers from about a decade ago, the population of Ethiopia is mainly Ethiopian Orthodox (43%). There is also a significant Muslim population (34%) and a large Protestant minority (18%).

 

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