Let’s Enlarge “space of our tents” for Growth, Salvation: SECAM Official on Synodality

Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula of Mozambique’s Catholic Diocese of Xai-Xai addressing participants at the opening session of the Plenary Assembly of SECAM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Credit: ACI Africa

There is need for the people of God in Africa to enlarge “the space of our tents” to give room for God in the spirit of the Synod on Synodality that is at the continental phase, the first Vice President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has said.

Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula of Mozambique’s Catholic Diocese of Xai-Xai who was addressing participants in the ongoing Plenary Assembly of SECAM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, used the Biblical image of a tent in Chapter II of the Document for the Continental Stage (DCS).

Bishop Muandula reflected on the Biblical story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, saying, that the attitude that the former demonstrated by opening his heart and listening to the Holy Spirit that resulted in the salvation of the latter.

“Enlarging the space of our tents in the context of our synod on synodality means both to open our hearts to the Spirit of the Lord guiding us and to listen to what the Spirit is telling us,” Bishop Muandula said in his Thursday, March 2 reflection at the Conference Hall of De Leopold Hotel in the Archeparchy of Addis Ababa.

He added, “In our days, there are a lot of eunuchs seeking the salvation of the Lord, but if no one of us enlarges the tent of his heart to the spirit of guiding the Church, who is going to preach the Gospel to them?”


Providing more room in the “space of our tents” will foster the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people of God, a situation Bishop Muandula said will go a long way in strengthening the theme of the Synodal process, “communion, participation, and mission”.

The six-day Plenary Assembly of SECAM that kicked off Wednesday, March 1 has brought together delegates of the Continental Synodal Assembly is expected to prepare the draft of the African Synod Document.

In his March 2 reflection, the Catholic Bishop who started his service as First Vice President of SECAM last month in line with the provisions of Articles 12 and 13 of Chapter IV of the SECAM By-Laws said that the gathering is about listening to what the Holy Spirit is commanding the Church as the family of God in Africa to do in order to “start a new era of evangelization in our continent”.

“Guided by the working Document for the Continental Stage, we are called to make our contributions with our particular insights to be sent and submitted to the General Secretariat of the synod for further discussions during the meeting of the Bishops in Rome in October,” the Mozambican Bishop said in his reflection at the SECAM Plenary Assembly that has some 209 participants in attendance.

The 63-year-old Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of the Mozambican Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in October 2004 said that Synodality has existed in Africa for a long time, exemplified in structures that start from the family up to the Diocesan level.

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He said that he finds it regrettable that despite the existence of realities in the Church in Africa that exemplify Synodality, the people of God do not yet “know how to make use of all our structures”.

“We are now becoming aware that we don’t know how to make use of all our structures in a synodal way, living synodality as a lifestyle, where all of us are prepared to listen to each other and together open their hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the one who is guiding the Church in his mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the World,” Bishop Muandula said March 2.

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