Eritrean bishop dies

 The Bishop of Keren, H.E. Abune Tesfamariam Bedho died suddenly on Monday. Bishop Tesfamariam was travelling to the Inter-Eparchial Major Seminary of Eritrea where he had stopped to spend the night on his return from an inauguration ceremony of a new church of the Sanctuary in Hebo. Bishop Tesfamariam was born at Doroque, a village near Keren in Eritrea on September 22, 1934 where he grew up with his peasant family until he got an opportunity for schooling from 1949-1953 at Keren Minor Seminary. From 1953-1959 he received his secondary education at Asmara Seminary. From 1959-1968 he studied Philosophy and Theology at the Urbanian University of Rome. He later trained to be a teacher in London and took a diploma in Pastoral Studies. H.E. the late Bishop of Asmara Abreha Franco on December 19, 1965 ordained him priest at the Vatican. From 1971-1990 he taught in the Major Seminary of Asmara and produced many priests. In the meantime, he also served as a member in the Vicarial Curia of Keren Vicariate from 1981 1988. From 1991 1996 he was vicar General of Asmara Diocese. He was appointed bishop of the newly erected diocese of Keren by the Holy Father on December 21, 1995 and installed bishop on February 4, 1996 in Asmara. Since then he worked in the diocese of Keren and led the people of God of that diocese diligently. He spent his time organising the community. He laid the foundation of the new Cathedral of Keren and the construction of the bishop's house with the offices. Bishop Tesfamariam is linked with the formation of priests and in the past six years of his episcopate has ordained 14 new diocesan priests of Keren which is an achievement for the church and particularly for Keren Eparchy. Bishop Tesfamariam led the people of God for twenty-three years with spiritual and academic education he was then given Episcopal responsibility. His tragic death at the age of 68 years has plunged the church into deep sorrow. His funeral will be held on August 1, 2002 at Keren St Michael's church. source: Catholic Information Service for Africa

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