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.