A Salesian missionary priest has baptized more than 7,500 people in the Ethiopian village where he works.
Father Giorgio Pontiggia has been stationed for years in a village outside Gambella. “When I arrived eleven years ago, I found about 40 Catholics,” he recalls. He began offering instruction, bringing residents into the Church, a few at a time. This year, the total number of baptisms reached 7,569, he says. He has been joined by another Salesian missionary, and together with their parishioners they have built several chapels around the village.
The death of a Christian woman in a prison camp in Eritrea has called attention to the arrests of scores of Christians.
More than 200 people have been detained in camps in recent weeks—including 23 who were arrested during the first week of August. Most were arrested during raids on “illegal” prayer meetings. The government of Eritrea has strict limitations on unregistered houses of worship.
A prominent Scottish priest has called for “systematic and intensified preaching and catechesis on marriage,” noting that the number of Catholic marriages in Scotland has dropped to its lowest level in more than 70 years.
Msgr. Peter Magee, the head of Scotland’s interdiocesan tribunal, reported that there were only 1,346 Catholic marriages in the country in 2016. The annual total had not been that low in Scotland since 1941; the all-time high, set in 1970, was 7,066.
Msgr. Magee said that pastors should seek help from experts in all fields in conveying the Church’s vision of marriage, which should be “a source of inspiration.”