Students receive a well-rounded education in St. Joseph’s School in the village of
Welkite, Ethiopia. (photo: John Kozar)
Education has always been a priority of the Catholic Church, and some of the greatest minds in the world have benefited from this dedication — such as philosopher René Descartes, who famously studied under Jesuits.
On his pastoral visit to Ethiopia in April, CNEWA President Msgr. John Kozar remarked on the continued importance of Catholic schools to the nation:
Historically, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (the rites and traditions of which are shared with Ge’ez Catholics) accounts for about half of the Ethiopian population. But evangelical Protestants are making significant inroads among Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians; their numbers have tripled in the last 15 years and now account for about 17 percent of the population. Muslims make up about a 30 percent. So, the Catholic Church here is extremely small.
But what the Catholic Church lacks in numbers it more than makes up in terms of social service outreach. Hundreds of Catholic schools — which are open to Catholic, Orthodox and Muslims students — are found everywhere and contribute greatly to the moral fiber and educational achievements of this great country. Although the Catholic Church (Latin and Ge’ez) is not formally recognized by the government as a religious entity, it nonetheless receives great respect at every level. The government has donated land to the church to open schools, clinics and hospitals, and contributes to the salaries of teachers.
You can read his full blog post here.