Women Religious in Zambia Urged to Nurture Synodal Conversations among Members

Bishop George Lungu of the Catholic Diocese of Chipata. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Women Religious under the auspices of the Zambia Association of Sisterhoods (ZAS) have been urged to encourage members to be vocal on faith matters.

The call came from the Local Ordinary Zambia’s Catholic Diocese of Chipata who noted that the contribution of Catholic Sisters in the Southern African nation is especially key in the ongoing Synodal conversations.

Bishop George Lungu further challenged women Religious in Zambia to take keen interest in the ongoing Synod on Synodality process, which he said seeks the opinion of religious women regarding their experience in areas of communion, participation and mission in the Church.

Bishop Lungu spoke at the 4th graduation ceremony of Catholic Sisters who had completed training in Administration through the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) program.

“While matters of administration, ICT and finances are important among Religious Congregations, it is of greater importance that we seek ways to sharpen the skills of our religious women in matters of communicating the faith. Faith is what forms the foundation of all that we do and say,” Bishop Lungu said.


The Zambian Bishop maintained that failure to speak openly about one’s faith denies other people the opportunity to go to Jesus Christ who the Bishop said is the very reason of the Sisters’ consecrated life.

Catholic Sisters who graduated during the ASEC ceremony had successfully completed a training that was fashioned to equip them with administration skills in managing various entrepreneurial projects in the Southern African country.

A total of 114 beneficiaries who participated in 20 days of online training graduated at the event that was organized under the theme, “enlightened to collaborate for a positive impact.”

Acknowledging the fact that the graduation ceremony was taking place at the time when the church is in its initial stages of Synod consultation, Bishop Lungu reiterated Pope Francis' message of taking the Synod process at the grassroots where the “feminine genius is needed.”

“I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with Priests helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflections,” the Local ordinary of Chipata said during the ASEC program ceremony that was held at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka.

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He added, “We need to create broader opportunities for more incisive female presence in the church because the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of the society.”

The Catholic Bishop who doubles as the Director of the Religious Men and Women in Zambia said the presence of women must also be acknowledged in the workplace and in other places where important decisions are made both in the church and in social structures.

“It will be a pity if our African Sisters would not be part and parcel of this process for whatever reasons,” he said, and added, “Interestingly, the Synod process also emphasizes the need for communion, participation, and mission of the church.”

The Catholic Bishop described the ASEC initiative as “a very complete manifestation of the communion and participation.”

Addressing those who graduated from the program, Bishop Lungu said, “It is my sincere hope that you will be ambassadors of the spirit of collaboration if your positive impact is being sought for.”


“Be always available to serve when duty calls, and share as much as you can in collaboration with other stakeholders within your Congregation and outside your religious family in order to have a positive impact in the lives of the people,” he said.

The ASEC program has been lauded for creating jobs for thousands of people in Africa through various entrepreneurial projects. The projects are spread across different African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Established on 8 December 1999 by four Catholic universities in the U.S. and their respective Religious OrdersASEC’s mission is to facilitate access to education for women Religious in Africa, leading to enhancement and expansion of the education, health, economic, social, environmental and spiritual services they provide.

In the last 22 years, ASEC has facilitated the education of at least 5,000 Sisters spread across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.