For over eight years now, the Brothers have been exposed to the culture and language (Amharic) of Ethiopia. We understand more fully the expectations of young people and the life of the Ethiopian Catholic Church.

Over that time, we have developed a number of pastoral activities such as:

  1. youth ministry within the archdiocesan secretariat, as youth chaplains.

  2. teaching in the Seminary,

  3. a children’s library for street children,

  4. “School of Life” for students who are discerning their vocation,

  5. pastoral care within the French speaking Parish.

What do we plan?

In 2009, the Local Church provided us a residential house in order to begin our mission. After a long period of learning and discernment, we now expect to enter into a new phase of implementation.

To seize the moment, we hope to include the construction of a chapel, guesthouse, and associated facilities. In total, these facilities will provide:

  1. a welcoming, peaceful, and religious environment where young people can share the prayer life of the brothers,

  1. young people an opportunity to receive human and spiritual formation,

  1. a venue for sports activities and library services,

  1. a chapel in the Local Eastern tradition with a capacity to hold 150 people for the Francophone Parish who are currently searching for a place of worship.

This center will be open to a diversity of people including Orthodox children in our neighborhood, Catholic families, Ethiopian candidates for religious life.

How do we want to proceed?

We hope to build this project within the existing residential compound (5000m2) in three separate, 12-month, phases, according to the priorities of our growing mission:

Phase 1 (2016-2018) Priory (finished)

The priory includes individual cells for a maximum of 8 brothers and postulants, small kitchen, oratory and living area.

Phase 2 (2018-2019) Multipurpose Hall & Guesthouse (in process)

This center comprises a multipurpose hall, dormitories, rooms and living area.

Phase 3 (2019-2020) Chapel

The project budget has been estimated at approximately 1.000.000,00 €.

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To see the blessing of the first stone, please download  this link.



A new year for the Community

The beginning of this year, full of promises, will stay in our memories. Indeed, with the end of this summer, we moved from our house of Gebre Michael to our new house, just finished, in Entoto, and saw the start of the second phase of construction, despite the difficulties due to a complicated weather, with the raining season.

With the departure in July of Br Bruno-Thomas (Texas), Moïse-Étienne (Rimont) and Arul-Nessan (Avignon), we welcomed fours news brothers in September.

New blood incoming!

With a decade of Canadian activity, our new brother Benoit-David joined us to supervise the teaching of younger brothers, and to take care of the French speaking parish. Brother Charles-Emmanuel, after two years spent in France, is our new vicar. But after only few weeks, the Ethiopian office visa being still closed, it is with a stammering Amharic, that our two brothers had no other choice than to go back in France, and renew their application form. This allowed us to get a new load of French cheese and smoked meat at their way back!

With no will to stop the arrival of Brothers which started in such a good way, Saint John Community was glad to welcome two formers postulants, coming back from two years of training in Cameroun. During a beautiful ceremony in the church of Simbock in Cameroun, Brothers Ermias and Yakob pronounced their Simple Vows. They will continue their formation at Addis Ababa, in seminary, and take care of the sacristy and priory.

In order to discern the call of God, Samuel, our postulant, is leaving with us for a year.

Despite the number of departure and arrival, Brother Philippe Francois will celebrate his two years in Ethiopia, and is taking care of the organization of the construction’s site. A body without head will be nothing, and Brother Athanase, Ethiopian in his earth since seven years, keep doing his work for the sixth year as prior in our Community of Addis Ababa.

A building comes out of the ground

In Entoto, thanks to the support of our donator, the building of the second phase of our project Epifania has started. The substructure of the multipurpose hall is growing, with the columns of the ground floor. Despite the difficulties for the workers, with rain and cold, we are still on schedule.


Life in Entoto

Brothers Benoît-David and Charles-Emmanuel came back among us after some weeks in France, hoping that their application will be processed in time. Tafesetchi’s cupboard are filled progressively while the brothers’ luggage are discharged. Future injeras promise to be hearty.

Our Community was happy to receive Degoo as a new postulant. We know him since a long time. Indeed, he came this summer to help us with the Formation Camp at Hawassa.

The association “L’Œuvre d’Orient” keep helping us by sending news volunteers in our priory. In this context, Gabriel arrived end of September for six month, and Emmanuel arrived beginning of October for 1 year. They will carry on the work of their predecessor, by assisting the Brothers for the new priory.

Epifania Project is growing up

As for the multipurpose hall, the concrete skeleton of the building continue is growth. In the ground floor, the footing, the columns and the retention walls are already done. The slab of the first floor has just been casted. The building begin to take shape.

Youth Ministry

Since five years, the goal of the School of Life is still to create in faith a new generation of Ethiopians, open and responsible. This goes through a spiritual, intellectual and human growth of the youths we are taking care of. It is in this idea, and under the responsibility of the brothers Charles-Emmanuel and Ermias, that we are welcoming four young men and two young women every weekend.

As part of our youth ministry, we organized a weekend among the Franciscans, at which were present youths from the school of life and around twenty from Pizza Ecclesia (a time to share faith and pizza). To answer the Synod of Bishops on Youth, we focused on Vocation. Brother Athanase explain the parts resulting from it: Youth, Faith and Discernment.

The following weekend, the brothers Philippe-François, Charles-Emmanuel, Ermias and our French volunteers accompanied the School of Life in Mendida (3h north of Addis). This meeting was punctuated by teaching, games, and times of prayer.

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On April 28th happened, in presence of Archbishop Berahneyesus, the blessing of our new priory. After a few days of hard work to regain the delay of the construction site, we were happy to welcome all our visitors for that ceremony. With joy, we have seen all our Ethiopian friends (neighbors, youth who came during all these years to our events, children that we have seen growing, coworkers, etc) but also members of the French speaking Community, of religious communities living in Addis Ababa, and the workers of the site.

The day began with a mass, presided by the Archbishop with around twenty priests. With the brothers living in Addis, Saint John Community was represented by Brother John S. and Brother Marie-Alexandre, who created our Community in Ethiopia nine years ago, and by Brother Jean-Hervé, vicar of Africa, and Brother Jovien-Andrea, previous vicar of Africa. We were also lucky to have with us brother Ermias, young Ethiopian from Addis Ababa who was postulant here and will pronounce his simple vows in a few months. These brothers were with priests from different parishes of the city, and represents of religious communities present in Addis Ababa.

The songs of the mass were done by the French speaking Community singers and the Ethiopian youth who attended to our School of Life program during the last years. We had French, Ethiopian and English songs, showing the multiculturalism of our catholic community in Addis Ababa and our life here (we even had a Cameroonian “Alleluia”!).

The mass was followed by the blessing of the priory, and by a lunch. This one was prepared by members of the French speaking Community and by Abju, oblate of Saint John Community, with Ethiopian meals, meals from other countries of Africa, and French desserts. We thank them a lot for their work, which permitted to the around 200 people present to spend a friendly moment.

Then, the traditionally “coffee ceremony”, unavoidable in Ethiopian culture, was organized by students. Meanwhile, everybody had the possibility to visit the interior of the priory where we had put some furniture in the main rooms: the chapel, the refectory, the library, and one cell.

We have been very happy to share with all our friends our now place of life and prayer, that embodies and roots our installation in that beautiful country which is Ethiopia. We would like to thank all our benefactors (Aid to the Church in Need, Diocese of Köln, Pontificium Opus a Propagatione Fidei, Diocese of Rottenburg, Missio Munich, l’OEuvre d’Orient and all the private donators), without who this project would not have happened, but also all the people who helped for the good unfolding of that day: the French speaking Community who lent us tables, chairs and plates, all who cooked for the lunch, students who were in charge of parking the cars, Thérèse and Pauline for the flowers, the French embassy who helped us to rent tents, and all who helped for installation and clean up.

Our remaining work is now the affinitions before moving in: finish the bathrooms, paint a second coat everywhere, etc. We hope to welcome many of you in this new place, since July 2018, as you will be living or just visiting Addis Ababa.