Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
The first Religious nun Sr. Tsegereda Yonannes elected recently to head Eritrean Bishops Conference has asked for God’s wisdom to guide her in the new ministry as General Secretary for the Catholic Secretariat.
Recalling King Solomon in the Scriptures, Sr. Tsegereda CMS in an email interview with AMECEA online said, “I am always fascinated by King Solomon’s wisdom; when he became king, he didn’t ask the Lord for wealth and power, but for wisdom and discernment in order to lead God’s people.”
“I guess the main thing I need to ask from God is His wisdom to pull together the staff members and workers of the Eritrean Catholic Secretariat (ErCS) to carry out our mandate well,” Sr. Tsegereda narrated.
The new General Secretary began her mission at the Secretariat early this month. Previously had served as Chaplain for Catholic University Students in Eritrea for nearly five years. She also served as a counselor in the Province of the Comboni Missionary Sisters in the region.
Commenting on the new ministry, Sr Tsegereda underscored collaboration with her colleagues and promised “to continue to fulfil the mission of the Church to meet the need of the people of God today.”
She highlighted that as per the mission of ErCS she will strive to achieve “is to carry out pastoral, humanitarian and social activities for society building on behalf of the Catholic Church for all Eritrean people regardless of their ethnicities, religious believes, or age.”
Asked to comment on how to solve the protracted conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia that is becoming stalemate Sr. Tsegereda said, “Unfortunately, the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a never-ending problem. The Eritrean Bishops had clearly condemned the war and asked leaders of the two countries to solve the problem peacefully. However, we will try to study and find out how to reconcile the people of these two countries.”
The new General Secretary takes over from Fr. Tesfaghiorghis Kiflom who has served the Secretariat for nearly eight and a half years since January 2013.
Speaking to AMECEA online in an interview Thursday, June 10, the outgoing Secretary General congratulated Sr. Tsegereda for the new office and ask her to be a good listener to “ErCS Staff in practical issues and always to discuss important points with departmental heads before making decision on the way forward.”
The Eritrean monk who is a member of Casamari Congregation said further, “I would advise Sr. to maintain peaceful relationship with government offices and observe the communication protocol with ErCS partners for this will help in advocacy work.”
He expressed gratitude to all those who support ErCS including all donor partners “for their understanding of the Secretariat’s situation and urged Sr. Tsegereda “to work in collaboration with the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa’s (AMECEA) Secretariat.