Hawassa: After almost a year of Salesian presence in the vicariate of Hawassa, the Salesian chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was opened for the public of Hawassa on 11th August, 2018. The compound of the Salesians in Hawassa,
comprising of the Chapel, Salesian residence, multipurpose hall and class rooms had been a gift from the previous bishop of Hawassa Vicariate. At the sudden demise of the previous Apostolic Vicar, Abuna Giovanni Miglioratti, the vicariate, which is the biggest vicariate of Ethiopia, was entrusted to the Salesians with Abuna Roberto Bergamaschi SDB as it’s newly elected Bishop. As soon as the Vicariate was entrusted to the Salesians, the Salesian Province of AET also made its move to assist its confrere by opening up the Salesian presence in the vicariate. The Salesian presence in the vicariate is aimed specifically at assisting the University students, study facilities for young SDB confreres and offering chaplaincy services to the nearby religious institutions.
The opening ceremony which took place in the presence of many religious and priests and hundreds of laity gathered from the various parishes of the vicariate was indeed a welcome gesture from the part of the people of the locality. Hawassa town which is situated on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley, is located 273 km south of Addis Ababa the capital city of Ethiopia. The town is also home to one of the biggest universities in Ethiopia which is also certainly the focus for the Salesian presence in this growing city. During his homily, Abuna Roberto SDB expressed his great satisfaction in having his Salesian community in the vicariate and expressed his hope that it would really boost up the pastoral activities in the vicariate. The ceremony concluded with a shared meal for all the people gathered.