29 June 2010

Ghana: SECAM to Hold Its 15th Plenary Assembly

Preparations are underway for the 15th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) which will take place in Accra, Ghana from July 26 to August 2, 2010.

The Plenary Assembly which has as its theme: SECAM at 40: Self-Reliance and the Way Forward for the Church in Africa would be the first of its kind to be held in Ghana, the headquarters of SECAM.The Plenary Assembly which is the highest decision-making body of SECAM meets every three years to draw up major policies and guidelines for the operations of the Secretariat of SECAM.

About 250 cardinals, bishops, priests, the religious and lay faithful within and outside Africa are expected to attend the Assembly.

In February this year the Standing Committee of SECAM met in Accra and approved of the Agenda for the Assembly which will be opened by the President of Ghana, John Evans Atta-Mills, on July 27. There will be goodwill messages from officials of the Vatican, Sister Continental Episcopal Conferences, and Partner Agencies, among others.

A workshop on the theme of the Assembly will be conducted for the bishops by the Christian Organisations Research and Advisory Trust of Africa (CORAT Africa). This will be followed by a panel discussion on SECAM at 40: renewing our commitment to its ideals. The discussion will be led by members of SECAM who are either past presidents or senior members of SECAM.

National and Regional Episcopal Conferences and other bodies affiliated to SECAM will present their evaluations and activities on the Second African Synod that took place in the Vatican in October last year on the theme: The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.

The climax of the celebration of the Ruby jubilee of SECAM will be held on Sunday, August 1, 2010 with a Eucharistic Celebration at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra. A communique on the conclusions of the Assembly will be read during this Celebration.

The Assembly will be chaired by Polycarp Cardinal Pengo, President of SECAM and Archbishop of Dar- Es- Salaam, Tanzania. He will be assisted by his two Vice-Presidents, Cardinal Theodore Andrien Sarr of Senegal (first Vice President) and Bishop Francisco Joao Siloto of Mozambique (Second Vice-President). Fr Francois-Xavier Damiba is the Secretary General of SECAM.

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