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  • Jemonde

From Top Cleric to Top Chef

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Today we visited the palace of the top cleric in Ethiopian, the Ethiopian Pope, Abune Mathis. Most people think of the Bishop of Rome when they hear the title, Pope. The world recently mourned the passing of Pope Benedict XVI. However, it was the Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt in Africa who was the first bishop to carry the name Pope. Pope Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria in the 300s C.E. consecrated the first Pope of Ethiopia, Abune Frumentius. The current Ethiopian Pope, Abune Mathis, traces his lineage back to Saint Athanasius.

Archimandrite Abba Gebreyesus warmly welcomed our family and blessed us with an Ethiopian blessing cross upon our arrival at the papal palace. He is the chief executive and assistant to Abune Mathis. Our son loves to go to his father’s office at Saint Ambrose and get a blessing cross that he insists on holding for the entire worship service. Abba Gebreyesus gave us several copies of Abune Mathis’ Christmas address. In the address, Abune Mathis quoted Saint Athanasius, “Jesus became human so that human may become

divine.” Jemonde quoted that same line from Saint Athanasius in his Christmas Day sermon 2021.

Following our time at the papal palace, we went to the Hyat community of Addis Ababa for a lesson on traditional Ethiopian cooking. It was time to do the Taylor Family's version of Top Chief from the Bravo network. Almaz taught us how to make beef tibs, gomen, tikil gomen, lentils, and injera (bread). She also held a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony complete with roasting coffee beans. Our son LOVED the carrots in the curry sauce. Our daughter loves drinking "coffee" out of the small, porcelain Ethiopian coffee cups. Her version of coffee is warm milk with a teaspoon of coffee. The food was delicious. Now it's time to see if we can put our cooking lesson to use after we arrive back in Raleigh!

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Jan 14, 2023

Many thanks for sharing your sabbatical with us, Father Jemonde! I'm learning a lot already. Blessings on you four and those whom you meet.

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