The much awaited 18th Plenary Assembly of AMECEA has kicked off in Lilongwe Malawi with Spiritual recollection which was led by Most Rev Thaddeus Ruwa’ichi, the Archbishop of Mwanza, Tanzania.

In the morning the bishops gathered at Bingu International Conference Center for recollection which closed by the celebration of the holy Mass. In the afternoon the delegates reflected on the vision and mission of AMECEA which was co-presented by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi and Msgr. Pius Rutechura, the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

Meanwhile AMECEA Secretary General Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo said that Apostolate and contributions of the family and Small Christian Communities to the work of evangelization will be among the crucial topics at the ongoing AMECEA Plenary in Lilongwe.

Speaking at a press conference from Kamuzu International Airport in Lolongwe from where he had gone to welcome His Eminence John Cardinal Njue from Kenya, Fr. Lugonzo said that seven topics have been prepared for discussions at the plenary.

“When you look at the broader theme for this Plenary, which is New Evangelization Through True Conversion and Witnessing to Christian Faith, two institutions are crucial; the apostolate of family and its contribution to the work of Evangelization and the Small Christian Communities, which is a brain child of AMECEA,” Fr. Lugonzo said.

Fr. Lugonzo said that the delegates will review and reflect on Small Christian Communities to see how effective they are and what gaps, challenges they are facing and propose what can be done to make them effective means of evangelization.

According to him, the Plenary will also do a survey of the early Missionaries work, activities and challenges they went through as well as the survey of the current situation and the environment in which the Church is carrying out its mission to the work of evangelization.

“The purpose of this is to look at the difference between the period of the missionaries and the period of indigenization of the Church where we have more members of the local clergy. In the AMECEA Region, many vocations are coming in and taking over pastoral responsibilities. It is time to look at the relationship between these two phases in order to the identify gaps and challenges, which becomes the foundation to help us to reflect on what we need to improve on,” he explained.

Fr. Lugonzo also said that the Plenary will also look at the institutions of higher learning, formation houses, seminaries and other institutions and how they are contributing to the work of evangelization.

Finally the Plenary will be looking at the central part of the Catholic Faith, which is the Liturgy, the Eucharist and other Sacraments and their role in the work of evangelization.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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