A New Pentecost for Africa

How to ensure the implementation of the outcome of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops which took place in the Vatican in October 2009? This is the main objective of the post-synodal consultation which is being jointly organised by Caritas Africa and the Justice and Peace Department of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in Maputo, Mozambique, from 23 to 26 May 2010.

“It is expected that the Consultation will promote collaboration and synergy between various Church structures in Africa, in particular Caritas Organisations and Justice and Peace Commissions, for a stronger and effective contribution of the Church in addressing some of the challenges identified by the Synod Fathers and hence help build a continent that is reconciled with itself and with the rest of the world, a continent where ‘Truth and Love meet, Justice and Peace embrace’ (Ps. 85),” pointed out SECAM 2nd Vice-president, Bishop Francisco João Silota, Bishop of Chimoio, Mozambique, and Caritas Africa President, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala, Uganda, in their letter of invitation to participants.

His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson

The chief guest at this consultation will be His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission, who will deliver the keynote address, on the theme: “The Synod of Bishops for Africa – a New Pentecost for Africa.” This much awaited intervention will certainly indicate priority areas on which participants taking part in the consultation should give more attention.

The Consultation will also be an opportunity for Church leaders in Africa and Northern partners to examine some concrete ways of collaboration, and identify priority actions to be part of SECAM and Caritas Africa Plan of action in matters of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace for the coming years in order to take advantage from the momentum created by the Synod, whose theme was “The Church in Africa in service to reconciliation, justice and peace.”

“We expect 135 participants, including 3 Cardinals and 42 Bishops, coming from some 45 countries. SECAM President, His Eminence Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, as well as Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, Lesley-Anne Knight, will honour the consultation of their presence. We are very pleased to note that this forthcoming consultation has aroused considerable interest and our dearest wish is that the 57 propositions made by the Synod Fathers in October 2009 will be translated into a realistic and concrete plan for the coming years to uphold the reconciliation process, promote justice and support the building of peace, essential steps in the fight against poverty,” stated Caritas Africa Executive Secretary Jacques Dinan, President of Caritas Mauritius.

The consultation, meant to be another very special momentum as a “New Pentecost for Africa” opens with a solemn mass on Pentecost Sunday, presided by His Eminence Cardinal Turkson, at the Pavilhão do Maxaquene, a covered stadium downtown Maputo, in the presence of representatives of the Mozambican Government and the population of Mozambique.

16 May 2010

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