Fessahaye Mebrahtu Named New Director of Black Catholic and Ethnic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
An immigrant from Eritrea, Mebrahtu has a unique and personal perspective on ministering to immigrants and ethnic minorities.
MILWAUKEE – Fessahaye Mebrahtu is named the first Director of Black Catholic and Ethnic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He joined the archdiocesan staff at the Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center on June 17, 2019.
“Only strong people can endure so much trauma, so much struggle, and not only survive and thrive but keep challenging. The mere total struggle, relentless in spite of suffering, to keep struggling for justice is something that the Church should appreciate with Black Catholics,” said Mebrahtu. An immigrant from Eritrea, Mebrahtu has a unique and personal perspective on ministering to immigrants and ethnic minorities.
In his new role, Mebrahtu will begin implementing a pastoral plan for Black Catholics, visiting parishes around the archdiocese, and ministering to the Black, Native American, and Asian communities, focusing on investing in people and developing indigenous leaders. Mebrahtu comments on his own community saying, “from us [Black Catholics], we need to make sure we are here to stay and at the same time we are productive and viable members of the Body of Christ.”
Mebrahtu’s most recent pastoral experience was at the Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, where he served as Chaplain. Mebrahtu believes this role exposed him to “the realities and needs of our correctional institutions from a spiritual and pastoral perspective.” He continues, “It was a spiritual experience God rerouted me to have before come here [to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee].”
Mebrahtu holds several Masters degrees and leadership positions. He has served most recently as the Executive Director of the Pan-African Community Association; as the national organizer for the Eritrean Catholics of Ge’Ez Rite of North America; and as Secretary for the National Association of African Catholics in the US (NAACUS). He is a current board member of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Hales Corners.