Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), a continental body of Bishops has reminded the Catholic faithful that the annual SECAM day celebration will be held on Sunday, August 2.
“Normally, 29th July of every year is SECAM Day. It is a day set aside for all members of the Family of God in Africa and the surrounding Islands to pray for, identify with, and support SECAM. When 29th July falls on a weekday, SECAM Day is celebrated on the following Sunday, and the collection is taken for the purpose. This year, it is expected to be held on August 2, 2020,” a letter addressed to all Secretaries-General of Conferences indicates, explaining the reason for change of dates.
“Following the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic at the moment, we have been directed to inform you that prayers should be said for SECAM on 29th and 2nd August 2020 respectively but the collection deferred,” SECAM Secretary General Fr. Terwase Henry Akaabiam noted in the letter adding, “Nevertheless, a person or people who may be moved to support SECAM financially or materially, should be allowed to do so.”
Annual celebration of SECAM Day dates back to 1969 when the continental body that unites all Bishops Conferences in Africa and the surrounding islands was inaugurated by Pope Paul VI in Kampala, Uganda.
On the significance of celebrating SECAM Day, the Secretary-General of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), one of the eight Regional Conferences that form SECAM, Fr. Anthony Makunde said, “It is a day to pray for the prosperity of the Symposium, for the togetherness and solidarity of the Conferences of the Bishops in Africa and the islands; more especially to create awareness among the Catholic faithful about the existence of SECAM and its role.”
“The collection which done on the occasion is normally to support the work and the mission of SECAM. It is a symbol of ownership of every Catholic in Africa and the islands that SECAM is our association here in Africa and Madagascar,” added the AMECEA Secretary-General.