, 15 February, 2020 / 12:05 AM
At a meeting bringing together a section of Church personnel serving in Bishops’ conferences that constitute the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA), a Zambian Prelate has called for the sense of novelty and creativity in the day to day tasks characterized with “inevitable challenges.”
“We need to maintain a sense of optimism and openness to try new ways of doing things. We must also try to let go the attitude or mentality of saying we have always done things this way even after the results indicate that we are not achieving the set goals,” Bishop Moses Hamungole told Church personnel attached to the Integral Human Development and Social Communications departments of various Bishops’ conferences within the AMECEA region.
Participants at the three-day meeting that concluded Thursday, February 13 brought together some 29 Church personnel from Bishops’ conferences in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia for their annual planning for their respective departments as well as giving reports on last year’s activities.
“As we plan for the future,” Bishop Hamungole said at the official opening of the meeting February 11 at Kapingila House in Lusaka, “we need to ask ourselves a few questions.”
“How can the Church in the entire region prepare herself to address the inevitable challenges affecting her today?” the Zambian Prelate asked the participants in attendance and further probed in reference to the national Conferences of Catholic Bishops within the AMECEA region, “How prepared are our Conferences to move on successfully and confidently with Jesus’ mission in the contemporary world?”
The 52-year-old Prelate called on Church personnel affiliated to Church entities in the Eastern Africa region to “be proactive and be part of the solution to problems affecting your Conferences and dioceses.”
“Your coming together as AMECEA Secretariat Coordinators is very important for the Bishops in the entire region. They look at you as partners in identifying the needs and implementing pastoral resolutions of the Church,” Bishop Hamungole who chairs the Commission for Social Communication of the Zambia Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCCB) further said.
He expressed confidence in the staff of the various Conferences of Bishops in the region in addressing “pertinent issues” such as the promotion of integral human development, caring for mother earth, use of digital technologies for evangelization among others.
He added in reference to Church personnel engaged by Bishops in the AMECEA region, “You are their Think-Tank and Foot Soldiers, so to say, because you look at issues with professional lens.”
The Bishop of Zambia’s Monze diocese expressed his appreciation for the initiative to bring together the collaborators of the Bishops in the region saying, “Your coming together is a sign of your efforts to realise the dream of your founding fathers and a desire to continue responding to the various challenges as one family of God in AMECEA region.”
He acknowledged the value of the meeting seen as fulfilling “the quest of the founding Fathers of AMECEA which was pastoral collaboration and solidarity of all the Bishops’ conferences in the region.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa