Archbishop in Tanzania Asks Musicians to Compose Songs to Publicize Planned AMECEA Plenary

Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga of Tanzania's Mbeya Archdiocese. Credit: AMECEA

The President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) is calling upon Catholic artists in the East African nation to compose songs ahead of the Plenary Assembly of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).

Catholic Bishops from the nine AMECEA member nations are expected to hold their 20th Plenary Assembly in Tanzania later this year, from July 10 to 17 under the theme, “Nurturing our common home: living Laudato Si’ towards enhancing integral human development in the AMECEA region.”

In a Wednesday, March 2 video message obtained by ACI Africa, Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga of Mbeya Archdiocese said composing thematic songs ahead of the AMECEA Plenary Assembly can go a long way in creating awareness about the planned meeting of Catholic Bishops in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

I invite different artists, especially choir members, to compose songs and to participate in whatever ways to promote the upcoming AMECEA meeting, to welcome AMECEA, and to publicize the theme of the meeting,” Archbishop Nyaisonga said in the March 2 video message by TEC. 

Making reference to the theme of the Plenary Assembly, the Tanzanian Archbishop said, We know the environment is a large concept including water, animals. Artists can use their talents to explain the beauty of the environment.”


“When the Holy Father wrote the Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si',” Archbishop Nyaisonga said, “he (Pope Francis) was moved by the fact that there is a great destruction of the environment.”

“The goal of this Plenary Assembly is for all AMECEA Bishops to explain to each other, encourage one another and to teach people on the environment and the responsibility to preserve the environment,” he went on to say.

The Archbishop reiterated, “I ask our musicians to compose songs that speak to the theme. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of the environment; it is our Christian duty. Let us sing those songs in churches and other events where we meet; let us sing about the beauty of the environment. We have to teach people the evils of environmental degradation.”

The planned AMECEA Plenary Assembly in Tanzania will coincide with the 61st anniversary celebrations of the formation of the association that brings together Catholic Bishops in the Eastern African region that has those at the helm of the Church in Djibouti and Somalia as affiliate members.

In the video message, TEC President called upon the people of God in Tanzania to “work with one heart, one strength, one voice” in the preparations for the Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ forum that was established in 1960 as the Inter-Territorial Episcopal Board of Eastern Africa (ITEBEA). 

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“Such large meetings are costly. We are invited to contribute and bear the cost of this upcoming meeting,” the Archbishop said, and encouraged members of Small Christian Communities (SCCs). to foster participation in preparations and to create awareness about the meeting. 

The Local Ordinary of Mbeya said AMECEA prides itself in being the founder of SCCs. 

AMECEA is the architect of SCCs ... Many foreign countries come to learn about SCCs from us. We have also received visitors to other denominations and religions. This shows that SCCs are a great innovation, a good one and a fitting for the faith,” Archbishop Nyaisonga said.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.