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The New Chairman of Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), Most Rev.Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel, Archbishop of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, was introduced to the Congregation by the Former Chairman Most Rev. Tarcisio Ziyaye, Archbishops of Lilongwe in Malawi during the closing Holy Mass of the 18th AMECEA plenary held at Maula Cathedral ground on 26th July 2014.
During his message of thanksgiving to Bishops and the Congregation, Archbishop Berhaneyesus said, “I humbly stand before you today to accept the leadership of AMECEA which my brother Archbishops and Bishops have entrusted to me.”
“I do so with Humility and I would like to request all of you to pray for me, to pray for AMECEA Executive board and AMECEA Region especially for civil and religious authorities so that this region may continue to be blessed by the Lord for prosperity and development of people,” he said.
In his speech, the New Chairman introduced two important AMECEA office bearers; Rev Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo who term of office was renewed as Secretary General and Msgr. Pius Rutechura as the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
During the same celebration Most Rev. Tarcisio Ziyaye, of Lilongwe archdiocese, Malawi, presented his speech saying, “I thank my brother Bishops for supporting me throughout this period of service to the Church in the region. As Archbishop of Lilongwe, I am thankful to the Bishops of Malawi, the government and the laity for the sacrifices they made toward the hosting of this AMECEA Plenary Assembly. The Lord has indeed done great things for us, may his name be blessed.”
Archbishop Ziyaye has been at the helm of AMECEA Chairmanship from 2008 to 2014. He was first elected in Lusaka Zambia in 2008 during the 16th AMECEA Plenary Assembly and again re-elected in 2011 in Nairobi Kenya during the 17th AMECEA Plenary Assembly.
The new AMECEA chairman Archbishop Berhaneyesus thanked the Malawian Episcopal Conference, Malawi Catholic Secretariat and also the Malawian Government for the great hospitality which was extended to all AMECEA Plenary Delegations.
In collaboration with the Friends of ECUSTA in USA, The Chancellor of the catholic University and the Secretary General of Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat undertook a high profile Fund Raising Visit in USA between 12th October an 16th November 2013. The Ethiopian Catholic University of St. Thomas Aquinas (ECUSTA is) is currently engaged in the accelerated development of its permanent Campus (the 1st phase construction of 11 buildings) and the gigantic task of establishing the two major additional Academic Programs - the School of Technology and the School of Health Sciences.
In order to effectively respond to the challenges posed, a high-level delegation consisting of His Grace Archbishop Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel CM, the Chancellor of ECUSTA and Rev. Abba Hagos Hayish CM, Secretary General of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat made extensive working visits to major US Cities to articulate the objectives and operations of the University for which fund raising campaign has been conducted. The highlights of these visits comprised:
1. Meeting and interacting with officials of relevant institutions.
2. Visits to various institutions – state, public, private and religious.
3. The official recognition and honoring of H. G. Archbishop Berhaneyesus D Souaphiel CM - with the 2 awards of President Medals, from Niagara University and St. John’s University, New York.
ECUSTA project with its noble cause of high quality University education, received great appreciation and support by all potential donors. All promised to establish relations and to extend help in any way possible - assistance in Student, Faculty and Research exchange.