Bishops in Angola, São Tomé Focusing on Children Faith Education in Pastoral Plan

Members of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST). Credit: Vatican Media

Children’s faith education is the focus of the second year of the triennium Pastoral plan of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST), the Church leaders have announced in a press statement at the end of their second annual Plenary Assembly held in Luanda, Angola.

In a communiqué shared with ACI Africa Monday, July 25, CEAST members say, “After having lived, with intensity and missionary enthusiasm, the first year of the pastoral triennium dedicated to children and having reflected on the theme ‘children, affirmation of life,’ in this second year of the triennium, we will deal with ‘education in the faith of children.’”

According to Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti, CEAST spokesperson, the Catholic Bishops wish “to prioritize, within the process of evangelization and catechesis, in all the dioceses of Angola and São Tomé, the urgent need for children to get to know Jesus, through a language that is clear, open, and accessible to their age.”

CEAST members have recommended attention to catechesis, pastoral assistance at school level by agents of evangelization, the celebration of children’s mass and the creation of spaces for children to express their apostolate.

“Parish Priests and Vicars, men and women Religious are to be directly involved in catechesis, the catechesis of Confirmation and the continuous formation of catechists. Adults have the task of accompanying this evolution at each stage,” Catholic Bishops in Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe said in their collective statement following their July 21 meeting at the Muxima Sanctuary.


They noted that the process of children's faith education requires creativity and courage, adding, “We need to have the same enthusiasm as the Christians of the first hour.”

The Plenary Assembly cited widespread corruption, breakdown of family values, absence of some parents in their homes to carry out their mission, and moral relativism as some of the challenges that influence the faith education of children.  

Other issues that came up were religious indifference and ignorance, a weak sense of belonging to the Church and “practical atheism”.

The Catholic Church leaders also expressed concern over the dangers and negative influences African children are exposed to such as “the proselytism” of religious sects, the misuse of social networks and television programs inappropriate to their age.

In their statement, CEAST members also expressed concern over what they described as worrying signs of poverty that they said leave children unable to attend school or catechism classes.

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The Catholic Bishops deliberated broadly on the lack of medical assistance and medication and the lack of guarantees for the children's education as other reasons for the absence of children from their homes between the ages of 6 and 14.

They said, “These are children who spend most of their time on the streets, without parental and family attention and care.”

According to CEAST members, a significant number of children run away from home because of abuse, violence within the family, and economic crises.

In their statement shared with ACI Africa, CEAST members invite “everyone to protect and save the innocence and beauty of the new generations, so that in the future we have healthy citizens, builders of a reconciled, happy and peaceful Angola, where everyone can live in peace and harmony.”

According to CEAST spokesperson, Bishop Chissengueti, in the second year of the triennium, Catholic Bishops in Angola and São Tomé aim to encourage families to participate in the ecclesial process of children's faith education.


This is “to promote a catechesis that indicates, with clarity and depth, the advantages and the advantages and disadvantages of new technologies in the process of evangelization,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), said.

This story was first published by ACI Africa on 29 July 2022

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.