The 34th regular General Parish Holy Council begins

October 20, 2015

By Tsegaye Girma
The 34th regular General Parish Holy Council of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church kicked off on 19 October, 2015 at the Patriarchate Assembly Hall. The council was opened with the blessing of His Holiness Abune Mathias and is attended by archbishops, archpriests from across dioceses as well as heads of different departments at the patriarchate.

In his opening speech, Abune Mathias stated that the church`s children are renouncing it and joining other denominations at an alarming rate. His Holiness the patriarch called participants of the meeting to look into the root causes of ‘the exodus’ asking why believers are leaving the church: “Why are believers leaving the church and joining other camps? Do they lack teachers? Or is there a problem in the church’s doctrine? Or is it due to maladministration? Is there shortage of clergies? Or are the other camps better than us?”  

The Patriarch also suggested solutions which need more attention going forward. He said, “As we are not discharging our pastoral responsibilities properly, we should rise together for boundless evangelization. We should also put in place transparent and accountable administration in line with the teachings of our church, and one that ensures the supremacy of the law, as maladministration in the church is leading many believers astray.”      

His Grace Abune Matewos, General Manager of the Patriarchate and Archbishop of Wolayta Konta and Dawro Dioceses also noted, “We should preserve our ancient church and strengthen its role in the society by reinforcing parish councils and the church`s overall mission as well as boosting its development efforts to meet the challenges of today`s world.“     

Dr Abba Haile Mariam Melese, Deputy Manager of the General Patriarchate, presented detailed report of the 2014/2015 fiscal year. In his report, Dr. Abba Haile Mariam mentioned main activities of the office of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Council of Church scholars (Yelikawnt Guba’e), Parish Council department, Finance and Budget department, Monastery department, Heritage Preservation, Library and Archives department, Evangelic Service and Apostolic Mission department, Mahibere Kidusan etc. The General Holy Parish Council will continue until October 23, 2015.

Spiritual Instruments Trainees Graduate

October 16, 2015

By Mefin Zegeye 

Abuna Gorgoriyos education and training centre of Mahibere Kidusan development institutions administration graduated its 11th round trainees in spiritual instruments and Ge’ez language numbering 290 at a ceremony held in its meeting hall on October 10, 2015.

Managing director of development institutions administration, Ato Haylu Fiseha, delivered the welcoming remarks on the occasion. Some 256 trainees in Harp; 17 in single string instrument [Mesenqo]; 6 in beating and handling dram; as well as 11 in Ge’ez language attended the 9 months regular and 3 months summer training program. 

Megabe Sibhat Alemu Aga, a veteran professional player of harp, who was a guest on the event, played the instrument and had a message for the graduates. The important point is not graduating, he said. The skill is a profession and requires constant practicing to avoid losing the skill acquired. Harp has been played by King David and has been passed down generations intact without adulteration and changes to this day. The contemporary time changes fast and we are witnessing attempts to use the harp contrary to its history and tradition. This is absolutely wrong. You have to realize the fact that the instrument is for praising and singing for the Lord, and as such there a serious need to protect it and pass it down as intact, he said. 

Graduates had presentations in their respective training areas as part of the program on the day.

Graduates who took part in the training said that they have acquired sufficient skill from the training and in the future they will play their part by passing on their knowledge to others to make sure that the harp is maintained as spiritual instrument.

In addition to Abuna Gorgoriyos education and training centre,  Mahibere Kidusan development institutions administration has been providing its services by opening an additional branch at national palace primary school recently to provide training on harp, single string instrument [Mesenqo], and beating and handling dram, as well as Ge’ez language.

Miskaye Hizunan Medhanealem Monastery Graduates 27 Disciples

September 19, 2015

By Mesfin Zegeye  

Miskaye Hizunan Medhane’alem Monastery graduated 27 disciples trained for six years in the New Testament and Qine at the Monastery Secondary School compound on September 14, 2015 in a ceremony attended by archbishops.

Of the graduates, 24 studied the New Testament interpretation while three studied Qine courses. His Grace Bishop Abuna Gerima, Head of the Office of His Holiness the Patriarch and External Relations Department and Miskaye Hazunan Medhane’alem Monastery board chairperson, handed out the certificates to the graduates.  Miskaye Hizunan Medhane’alem Monastery has produced Church intellectuals in Nibab (readings), Kiddase (Liturgy), Qine (Ge’ez poetry), Biluyat and Hadistat (New and Old Testament) interpretation since 1950.

Church intellectuals who have been producing disciples at the Monastery have been awarded certificates from the hands of His Grace Abuna Gerima who endorsed the titles bestowed upon them as part of the graduation process.In a message delivered following the handing out of the certificates, His Grace said, it is important that the spiritual and modern education which earlier and present generations worked so hard to maintain is passed on intact to the next generation.  

The graduates are currently serving at various parishes and monasteries in Addis Ababa and have already been certified in Zema, Kidase, Digua, Zimare mesiwaet, Qine, etc at abinet (traditional church) schools. Of the disciples who graduated in New Testament interpretation, Ri’ese Debr Berhanu Akal shared his observation on the knowledge he acquired in the course of his training. He said that he has attended school for a long time in Kidase, Akuakuam bet as well as modern education. Especially learning New Testament interpretation has given him knowledge as if he knew nothing about the subject before, he said. 

He added that the time in the school was so exciting because the teacher is so knowledgeable and of exemplary personality as well as the fact that the disciples come from various knowledge background. 
There are learning sessions twice or thrice in one day. It is only after they went over the lesson over and over again and grasped the subject matter well that the teacher would let them move on to another subject matter. There are sessions on all other days except on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, the teacher has been teaching them Widdase Maryam and Kidase Maryam interpretation during Filseta LeMaryam (the Fast of the Assumption of St Mary); Kidan and Timhirte Hibu’at during Himamat (Passion Week); and Bahire Hassab during Pagumen (the 13th month in the Ethiopian Calendar ). They completed New Testament interpretation lesson one year faster than it used to take. 

Ri’ese Debr Berhanu mentioned problems as well. The room in which the courses are given is very small. As a result of the lack of space, late comers attend their lessons standing at the doorway outside. Disciples who will attend courses in the future should not go through the same hardship like them, he underlined. 

When Meskaye Hazunan School was established it had six class rooms, five rooms for different services, five teachers, seven supporting staff members and 33 students, according to information obtained from the School. Currently, the school has 109 teachers and2, 779 students from kindergarten to 12th grade levels.

The school has a reputation for having its students promoted. In the just completed Ethiopian year, it managed to get all its 8, 10, and 12 graders pass school leaving examinations.The School ranked 1st out of private schools in Addis Ababa and was awarded three cups as well as one big cup for being a general winner. Students who scored the best results have been awarded prizes from the hands of His Grace Abuna Gerima.

Source: Mahibere Kidusan Amharic Web site: 

New Year blessings by His Holiness Abune Mathias

September 10,2015
By Kassa Nigus and Tsegaye Girm
His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Takle Haymanot, has given his blessings concerning the Ethiopian New Year 2008. Excerpts:  

All Ethiopians;

• living in urban and rural areas of the country 

• residing abroad 

• guarding our borders

• suffering illnesses in hospitals and holy water sites 

• put behind bars, 

I wish you a happy New Year 2008, Year of John.

 “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”  Deut 32:7

Time is among the invisible and colorless things God created. It is something which manifests itself through events, and no one can deny its existence. It has been calculated using units such as minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and so on.since time is the moment when events take place, people describe it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on the nature of the events that occurred at that particular time. What matters, however, is that we realize the benefits of time and that we do our best to make the most out of it. 

Time came into existence with the creation of the world, and is meant to be used by humans living in this world. The heavenly world lies outside the bounds of time. (Gen.1:14). Without time, human beings wouldn’t have been able to lead orderly and planned lives. So, time is a resource that humans need to make their existence in this world worthwhile.  

In addition to this, since people can learn from time and what happened in it, God tells us to remember the past and take lessons from it. Hence we should make good use of this valuable resource and refrain from wasting it. 

All of you, our dear children in the Holy Spirit;

Our country Ethiopia is a beautiful land endowed with diverse resources. We should all work together and stop talking about poverty while living in this earthly paradise. We have to find out the root causes of our poverty, and work hard to achieve sustainable development.  

If truth be told, the key to end poverty lies in developing a good work ethic and initiation, and striving hard to change our situation at home. Especially, the young generation should develop such working culture and improve their lives. When we understand this and take practical measures, we will be able to eradicate poverty. 

We know that, in today’s world, there are many countries that prospered through hard work though they are not endowed with diverse natural resources such as fertile land, clean water and suitable weather condition, all of which Ethiopia has. 

As we welcome the New Year, we call on the public, and especially the youth, to align their plans with the country’s development ambitions and act accordingly to achieve remarkable growth and realize our renaissance. 

Happy New Year! 

May God bless you!

First International Orthodox Women Conference held in London

September 1, 2015


Under the auspices and blessings of His Holiness Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) is excited to launch its first international Orthodox conference. The conference’s main objective is to establish an understanding of the role of women from a historical, theological and practical perspective in our modern world, and the general calling to holiness of men and women in the Body of Christ.

OWM First International Women’s Conference is welcoming both men and women to attend – as each member of the Body affects the other – so it is vital, a necessity that each member supports and learn the need for the other – male and female. OWM also welcomes all ages to attend above the age of 18.


There is a great desire to meet the needs of the people of the Church and this desire is found in the role of women today across the globe, particularly in the West. A few questions, yet not exhaustive, must be asked to address such concerns:

• What is the role of women outside of the diaconate and Sunday school services?

• What is the purpose of their presence in the Eucharistic and other liturgical services?

• How do women identify their membership as a living and equal member of the Body of Christ, among cultural aversions and feelings of subservience among the opposite sex and members of the hierarchy?

There is an essential need across the globe to revive the rich Orthodox tradition in accordance with our modern world today without compromising or altering the faith. For Orthodoxy is dynamic and living; it is not a static entity and a mere point of reference to the past.


The Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) aims to launch its first international Orthodox conference. The conference’s main objective is to establish an understanding of the role of women from a historical, theological and practical perspective in our modern world.

There is a great desire to meet the needs of the people of the Church and this desire is found in the role of women today across the globe, particularly in the West. A few questions, yet not exhaustive, must be asked to address such concerns:

• What is the role of women outside of the diaconate and Sunday School services?

• What is the purpose of their presence in the Eucharistic service?

• How do women identify their membership as a living and equal member of the Body of Christ, among cultural aversions and hierarchal feelings of subservience towards them?

There is an essential need across the globe to revive the rich Orthodox tradition in accordance with our modern world today without compromising or altering the faith. For Orthodoxy is dynamic and living; it is not a static entity and a mere point of reference to the past.

The aim of the conference is to address the position of the Orthodox women in the Church today, and is not concerned with reviving the early Church tradition of the woman diaconate, although this topic may be addressed from a historical approach during the sessions. Throughout history, there are numerous examples of women who played a pivotal role in leadership, apostleship and witness to the faith and such lives are exemplary to our understanding of women’s role and the role in the ministry in the Church yesterday, today and tomorrow.

We are also not concerned at this time on the issues of neither women’s ordination nor women administrating any sacraments. While these matters are important and must be addressed in the future, our aim of the conference is how we can engage and encourage women leadership in the Church outside of ordination, and vivify the essentiality of women’s identity as crucial members of the Body of Christ in a practical manner. Thus, it is also important for the presence of men to support, encourage and be educated concerning the role of women; for without the presence of women in the Church, the Body would be incomplete (1 Cor 12:12-31).

Please support us with your prayers for the vision and mission of this ministry.




Blaze damages property at Mahibere Kidusan workshop

August 27, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
A fire broke out in a workshop at the premises of Mahibere Kidusan’s (MK) Development Institution (Limat Tekwam) on Monday, August 24, 2015, damaging property whose worth is yet to  be determined. No one was killed or injured in the accident. 

The blaze started at around 7 PM local time and was put out about an hour later by the Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Authority of Addis Ababa City Government as well as the local people, according to Ato Hailu Fisiha, Managing Director of MK’s Development Institution. The local police are investigating the cause of the fire. 

The workshop is located in a residential neighborhood in Ginflle area around 1 kilometer north east of MK’s headquarters. Part of the workshop as well as machineries including twelve sewing singers, garment pressing, slashing and finishing machines were totally damaged by the fire. Garments, vestments and veils also went up in flames. But the full extent of the damage has not yet been determined. Things could have been worse if the incident had happened late in the night when the local residents would have been sleeping. 

The Managing Director stressed the need to revamp the workshop and replace the damaged machineries as quickly as possible to resume the day-to-day operation of the institution. He also pointed out that in the future the institution will provide insurance for its staff to compensate for all eventualities including specified loss and damage. 

Mahibere Kidusan films centenary celebration for TV production

August 18, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
The Broadcast Media Department of Mahibere Kidusan (MK) has filmed Aleka Tekle Gebrehana’s Centenary, the 100 year of death anniversary, celebration being held at Dabre Tabor Iyyesus and Mekane Birhan Holy Trinity Church in Dabre Tabor town from May to September, 2015. 
The production from the event will be aired at MK’s weekly TV program on Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS). The Department recorded the program on August 15 and 16, 2015.  The faithful who gathered in the compound of Debre Tabor Iyyesus church also celebrated the Feast of Transfiguration of Jesus Christ along with the Centenary of Aleka Tekle Gebrehana, the son of Aleka Gebre Hanna, which is being observed in a series of programs under the theme ‘Zikre Tekle’. 
His Grace Abune Endrias, Archbishop of South Gonder Diocese, his grace Abune Abraham, Archbishop of Bahirdar town and West Gojjam Diocese, church scholars as well as people from the locality and neighboring villages attended the event. 
The sermons at the event focused on: 
• The feast of Pagumen and the Ethiopian New Year called ‘Kidus Yohannes’ (St John) that falls on September 10, 
• St John the Baptist, Gorgorios of Nazianzus and St Cyril, 
• The Holy Cross, 
• The history, tradition and service  of Tekle Aquaquam and spiritual chants in Tekle Zimame tradition,
• Biography of Aleka Gebre Hanna and his son Alekla Tekle,
• The Assumption of St Mary and the Feast of Debre Tabor (Transfiguration), among others. 

Mahibere Kidusan TV program expands to Chicago city

 August 17, 2015

By Kassa Nigus

Mahibere Kidusan’s (MK) spiritual television program aired on Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS) has expanded its reach to Chicago city in the United States starting August 1, 2015. According to MK’s Center of Publication and Electronic Media in America, the transmission in the US was previously confined to Boston, Cambridge, Seattle, Minnesota and Saint Paul.

Now that the program is also aired in Chicago, Ethiopian faithful residing in the city will have alternative means of learning the Word of God. The television program is aired three times on Saturdays and Sundays.

Officials in Chicago contributed a lot in the launch of the program by providing production studios. MK’s Center of Publication and Electronic Media in America said members of the fellowship across the US can play a significant role to further expand the transmission in all states by collaborating with church authorities.

The Publication and Electronic Media Department at MK’s headquarters in Addis Ababa is making efforts to increase the time of transmission of the TV program. The department also runs a two-hour internet television program and a one-hour radio program every week.  

  Source: Mahibere Kidusan’s Amharic website ( 

Mahibere Kidusan opens exhibition on church schools and monasteries

July 15, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 

The event that prepared by Kidusat Mekanat development and social service main department was opened at the hall of Mahibere Kidusan building on July 11, 2015.  The exhibition entitled in Ge’ez, “ማዕዶት ዘቤተ ጉባኤ ወገዳማት ዐውደ ርዕይ” roughly translated as “Exhibition on፡ the bridge of monasteries and School of excellence ”.

The exhibition was released by his grace Abune Lukas, secretary general of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church and arch bishop of Setit Humera diocese. Nibure Eid Abba Gebre Mariam Gebre Sillase, the general manager of Ethiopian monasteries was one of the special guests at the opening ceremony of an exhibition.Ever since the show has been visited by multitudes of visitors of that interesting and nostalgic exhibition.

The event has been on the scene in eight divisions, such as the history of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, the contribution of Ethiopian Orthodox Church schools and monasteries, causes of problems of church schools and monasteries and its effect,  efforts and measures taken by Mahibere Kiduasan for the restoration of  these centers which are the source of indigenous knowledge, and the last part is entitled “what shall we do?” that arouses the visitors to take their role in alleviating the existing problems of church schools and monasteries.

According to Ato Gizachew Sisay, board manager of Kidusat Mekanat and social service main department, the main goal of the program is to create awareness on the problems of Ethiopian monasteries and church schools as well as on the ongoing efforts and   future plan of Mahibere Kidusan that mainly targets to create and build a sense of ownership and responsibility amongst the members of the church in order to participate in the existing situation of the stated impediments.

The exhibition will continue until 22 July.

Being a double-edged sword

June 30, 2015

By Kassa Nigus

His grace Abune Ephraim, bishop of north Shoa diocese ordained twenty five students of Debre Birhan University who attend religious courses along with their regular studies on June, 2015.

The appointment has been done after the newly chosen students fulfilled the required qualifications needed to be a deacon. This kind of missionary activities have been become a usual practice in most Ethiopian universities under the coordination of Mahibere Kidusan institution that facilitates a condition for  young students to have a versatile personality, i.e., for the church mission and the country in general.

After the sanction of the candidates, his grace Abune Ephraim forwarded his advice to the newly appointed deacons saying, “The ordination you received is not from man but from God; you shall use this great authority wisely in the evangelizing mission of the church.”

The center of MK at Debre Birhan consists of 16 Gibbi Gubaeyat (Campus centers where Christian students attend religious courses). In 8 of the centers, there are more than 500 hundred students who attend religious courses by two hired evangelist teachers.

Source: Debre Birhan center of Mahibere Kidusan.