He is Fr. Gebru Ghebre Egziabher,86 years, the oldest African Consolata missionary. He was born in Kisademba, in the province of Adi Keih in Eritrea to Mr. Gobru Michael and Mrs. Wolete Slasie. He became orthodox monk in the Debre Mariam Abune Absedi monastery, and at 19 years of age was ordained deacon and later became a priest at the age of 24 in the year 1961 in Eritrea.
He was then asked to serve Aduhara diocese (Eritrea) and then moved to Asela, Meki diocese in Ethiopia. While in Ethiopia, he met the Consolata missionaries in the person of Fr. De Marchi. This particular meeting was extraordinary because it reawakened in his heart the missionary spirit; he yearned to serve God as a Consolata missionary. After a long discernment accompanied by a one-month retreat in the Cistercense monastery, he made up his mind and started journeying with the Consolata Missionaries. He did his novitiate formation in Vittorio Veneto having Fr. Pietro Trabucco as his novice master. He did his first religious profession in 1983 and three years later (in 1986) he did his perpetual profession. Since then, Fr. Gebru has been working in various missions in Ethiopia, the last one being Gambo. Currently he is working in the regional house in Addis Ababa.
Fr Gebru is a joyful person, enthusiastic and hardworking man with great missionary zeal; he enjoys good health too! He says “since I joined the Consolata missionaries I have never got sick. This is the special blessing from the father founder Blessed Joseph Allamano. My work has been the apostolate and prayer without forgetting daily short walks”. The advice of Fr Gebru to the young and old missionaries is: “continue to be holy men and women who cultivate a deep prayer life. Allow yourself to be consumed fully for Mission Ad Gentes, for the poor for the needy “.
Fr. Godfrey Msumange imc