SECAM Vice President among Members of Newly Established Synod Preparatory Commission

Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula among seven members of the newly established Preparatory Commission to facilitate the realization of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Credit: ACI Africa

The first Vice President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) is among seven members of the newly established Preparatory Commission to facilitate the realization of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

Commonly known as the Synod on Synodality, the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is the Synod of Catholic Bishops that the Vatican announced in March 2020 and later extended to October 2024, to be realized under the theme, "For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission".

Credit: ACI Africa

Earlier, in 2018, the International Theological Commission defined Synodality as “the action of the Spirit in the communion of the Body of Christ and in the missionary journey of the People of God.”

The process that began with consultations at the level of Dioceses is currently guided by The Document for the Continental Stage (DCS) at the continental phase, expected to last through March 2023.


In a statement that the Holy See Press Office published on Wednesday, March 15, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Mario Cardinal Grech, has Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula of Mozambique’s Xai-Xai Catholic Diocese among the seven-members Commission established in accordance with Article 10, parr. l-2” of Pope Francis’ 15 September 2018 Apostolic Constitution, Episcopalis Communio.

According to the Apostolic Constitution for the synod, the Secretary General establishes the Commission “for further exploration of the theme and for the writing of any documents that may be issued prior to the Synod Assembly.”

Credit: ACI Africa

The other members of the Commission that Cardinal Grech is to preside over include Fr. Giacomo Costa, a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who is to serve as Coordinator; Archbishop Timothy John Costelloe, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) that is at the helm of Perth Archdiocese in Australia; and Fr. Dario Vitali, a professor of theology at the Rome-based Pontifical Gregorian University.

Other members are Mons. Tomasz Trafny of the Synod Secretariat, who is to serve as Secretary of the Commission; and Sr. Shizue Hirota from Tokyo, Japan, the member of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the only woman named to the preparatory commission, who is a consultant for the Catholic Council for Justice and Peace of the Japanese Bishops’ Conference.

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Born in Maputo in October 1959, Bishop Muandula was ordained a Priest in May 1989. 

Credit: ACI Africa

He served in various positions following his Priestly Ordination, including Assistant Priest, Secretary and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Maputo; professor of theology and moral theology.

In Rome, Bishop Muandula studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and earned a licentiate in Sacred Scripture and a doctorate in Biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University

He was ordained Bishop of Xai-Xai in 2004. 


On 31 January 2013, he was appointed to serve as a Member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Muandula was re-elected the second Vice President of SECAM on 30 July 2022, on the eve of a Eucharistic celebration to mark the conclusion of the 19th Plenary Assembly of the continental symposium held in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.

Credit: ACI Africa

During the SECAM Standing Committee four-day “extraordinary meeting” that concluded on February 17, Bishop Muandula was elevated from the position of Second Vice President to that of the First Vice President.

Credit: ACI Africa

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The administrative changes that were effected in accordance with the provisions of Articles 12 and 13 of Chapter IV of the SECAM By-Laws resulted from the death of Richard Kuuia Cardinal Baawobr in November 2022, months after he had been elected SECAM President.

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