Help Train Novices in Ethiopia
Bishop Armido Gasparini wanted to do something to involve young Ethiopian women more strongly in the Faith. As a result, a community of religious Sisters, the Handmaids of the Church, was founded in 1988 in the Ethiopian town of Awasa. Their purpose was to build up the Catholic Church and care for the spiritual growth of the faithful. Bishop Gasparini’s principal aim was to help young women and girls, who in their traditional culture had hardly any chance of getting a proper education. It all began with four young women who joined together to advance their education and who, four years later, were able to make their first solemn profession.
The Sisters of the community of the Handmaids of the Church now help other women both spiritually and in the practicalities of life, including ways of earning a living and supporting their families, and they are also strongly involved in healthcare. In a country like Ethiopia, which is among the poorest in the world and where almost half the population is undernourished, such service is vitally important and help is desperately needed.