The Archbishop of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel, has described the late Bishop Giovanni Migliorati of the Apostolic Vicariate of Awasa as “a great apostle” who was dedicated to his ministry and remained close to the people he served.
Bishop Migliorati died on May 12th in his native country of Italy, where he had gone for treatment. He was the Apostolic Vicar of Awasa, Ethiopia, for nearly seven years and belonged to the Comboni Missionaries. He was also the Vice President of Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia and a substitute member of the Executive Board of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
Bishop Migliorati has lived in Ethiopia for more than 40 years, working as a priest, formator, and lecturer in the Major Seminary. On March 21st, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI nominated Father Giovanni Migliorati the Vicar Apostolic of Awasa.
The vicariate of Awasa is located in southern Ethiopia. It covers an area of 40,000 square miles, inhabited by about seven and a half million people who are variously Sidame, Ghedeo, Guji, Borana, Amaro, and Burji, amongst others. 85% of the population lives in rural areas, practising farming and animal husbandry.
Cardinal Souraphiel said: “Bishop Giovanni Migliorati leaves a great legacy of a great apostle; an apostle who learned the language of the Vicariate. He learned and was fluent in three languages: Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia; then two languages in his Vicariate of Awasa, the Sidaama and the Gedeo language. He was very near to the youth, to the catechists in their formation; dedicated in bringing people together and having his own formation team. In fact, he was also the head of the Episcopal Committee for formation and seminaries of the Catholic Bishops Conference in Ethiopia”.
Bishop Migliorati died at the age of 74.