Kampala — The Uganda Episcopal Conference is in the final stages of preparations to host the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on July 29, after 50 years since it was first hosted.
Dr John Baptist Kauta, the Uganda Episcopal Conference secretary general, told Daily Monitor yesterday that a preparatory meeting of the executive committee, which sits in Accra, Ghana will be held in Kampala from July 27 to July 29, this year.
A press release seen by this newspaper indicated that the Inauguration Mass for the SECAM golden jubilee celebrations will be held at Rubaga Cathedral on July 29, ahead of the meeting.
"All are invited for the inaugural Mass. The preparations for the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee will begin in Uganda headed by the Uganda Episcopal Conference after July 30, 2018. Other details of the preparations will be communicated. Seeing the importance of such an association for Africa, the congregation for the Evangelisation of the people at the Holy See invited the presidents of the Regional Episcopal Conferences for consultation in 1968," the Uganda Episcopal Conference press release reads in part, adding:
"A year later, the first-ever visit of a Pope to Africa was seen as very opportune to launch the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. His Holiness Pope Paul VI was welcomed to Kampala (Uganda) for the official launching of SECAM in July 1969."
SECAM was born out of the will of young African bishops during the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965 where they wanted to speak with one voice. The establishment of SECAM is, therefore, the result of the bishops' resolution to build a continental structure in order to bring forth the African vision to the whole Church.
The press release further indicates that the celebrations, which will run under the theme: 'Church, Family of God in Africa, Celebrate your Jubilee! Proclaim, Meet and Welcome Christ your Savior,' shall aim at "thanking God for His wonders and marvelous deeds, the gift of baptism and of the Church, to ponder on the progress made so far, with the aim of deepening our roots in Christ and to engage ourselves resolutely in faith in proclamation of the mission of the Gospel in words and actions".
Some of the dignitaries expected to attend the meeting are SECAM president Rev Gabriel Mbilingi, who is also Archbishop of Lubango in Angola, first vice-president Rev Louis Portella-Mbuyu, Bishop of Kinkala in Democratic Republic of Congo, second vice president Rev Gabriel Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi in Ghana and Rev Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Accra, among others.