With less than a month to the 17th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), preparations are underway to bring together over 100 delegates in the Angolan capital of Luanda.
The theme of the Plenary is “The family in Africa, yesterday, today, and tomorrow: in the light of the gospel.”
According to the provisional program emailed to invited participants, members of SECAM’ Standing Committee will meet on Monday, 18 July, ahead of the plenary scheduled to open officially with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Holy Family Parish in Luanda.
SECAM President, Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lubango, Angola, is scheduled to preside over the deliberations.
New pastoral challenges facing the African family today and finding new ways of evangelising the families; the influence of modern media and new ideologies on the family in Africa today; making SECAM stronger and a more committed family of God on the continent are among topics lined up for presentation and discussion.
The 17th Plenary of SECAM is scheduled to close officially on 24 July with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Held every three years, the Plenary Assembly “is the highest body of SECAM and, as such, defines major policies and guidelines.” Launched officially in 1969 by Pope Paul VI in Uganda during the first-ever visit of a Pope to Africa, SECAM will be 50 years old in 2019.
Delegate Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops from across Africa, Secretaries General from regional and national Bishops’ conferences, SECAM staff, and representatives of some Church funding organisations, are among the expected participants at the week-long plenary.
(By Father Don Bosco Onyalla, CANAA in Nairobi)