All is set for the 18th Plenary Assembly and Golden Jubilee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), in Kampala, Uganda, from the 20th to 29th July 2019. The theme of the plenary assembly is: “Church-Family of God in Africa, Celebrate Your Jubilee! Proclaim Jesus Christ Your Saviour”
The event will host about 300 participants, including representatives from the Vatican, Cardinals, Archbishops and bishops, priests representatives of Religious congregations, the lay faithful the Catholic media and other dignitaries from the length and breadth of Africa the surrounding islands and partners from the entire world, who will deliberate on how far the Church has come in its evangelizing mission and what the way forward should be as Family of God for the next fifty years.
The deliberations of the assembly will also lead to the finalization of the “Kampala Document”. This is a pastoral document which will review the journey of SECAM over the past fifty years and will give direction on where the Church in Africa should be in the next fifty years, in terms of pastoral choices and priorities.
Ten thousand copies of the document will be published in the three official languages of SECAM; English, French and Portuguese and will be published on the SECAM website (www.secam.org) for easy download by all and sundry.
The climax of the SECAM assembly will be a solemn Mass at the Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo, Kampala, on Sunday, 28th July 2019, in union of prayer with the entire Church in Uganda as well as with various dioceses, parishes and Small Christian communities across Africa and the Islands.
SECAM was born out of the desire of the African Bishops who attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), to establish a forum from which the Church in Africa could speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the local and the universal Church.
The idea was concretised in July 1969, during the visit of Pope Paul VI to Kampala (Uganda); being the first time a Pope was visiting sub-Saharan Africa. The African Bishops saw it as an opportune occasion to launch the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.
Fifty years later, on 29th of July 2018, SECAM launched the SECAM Golden Jubilee Celebration Year on the theme, Church-family of God in Africa, Celebrate your Jubilee! Proclaim Jesus Christ your Saviour. It was a deliberate decision to have an entire year of prayerful preparation from July 2018 towards the Golden Jubilee in July 2019 with and prayer and study theme for every month of the year. The year has thus been a period of thanksgiving, celebration of the progress made, repentance/conversion, reconciliation and a renewal of commitment to witnessing to Christ in Africa, Madagascar and the Islands.
With this jubilee celebration the Bishops in Africa continue to invite all the faithful, every Christian, all church institutions and religious groups, communities in Africa, Madagascar, and the islands, to let the call to this mission resonate with each and every one and to respond to it with zeal. All the faithful in Africa are also invited to seek information about the functioning of SECAM and its affiliate committees and take interest in its coordinating effort for the Church on the continent.
Most Reverend Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo
Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo
President of CEPACS
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