Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jersey City celebrates Feast of Saint Gabriel

Rafal Rogoza / The Jersey JournalThe Jersey Journal- 29/12/12

Dozens congregated at an Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jersey City this morning to worship and celebrate the Feast of Saint Gabriel.

Roughly 50 worshippers of the Bisrate Gebriel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church held mass at 7 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church at 214 Martin Luther King Drive in remembrance of the archangel Gabriel.
Church deacon Gabreil Alemayehu said that according to Ethiopian Orthodox theology the Feast of Saint Gabriel is a holiday observing archangel Gabriel’s annunciation of the coming of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary.
The mass included a procession inside the church and was led by the Archbishop of New York and New Jersey Abune Bassilios, Father Melake Geneet Ghezahegn of St. Mary’s Church in Yonkers, and Father Endalkachew Dagne, Alemayehu said.
The parish has been holding religious services at Sacred Heart Church for the last two months, Alemayehu said, adding that it is an important place for the growing Ethiopian community in Jersey City and the tri-state area.
“Today you can see people from Yonkers, Bronx, and Washington D.C.,” he said.
Among the churchgoers was 57-year-old Azalle Negash of West Orange who has been attending mass at the church regularly. For Negash the church plays an important role in bridging his Ethiopian culture to his new home in the United States.
“That’s our mission, to preach Christianity,” said Negash, adding “That’s our way of life.”