Pope Francis sent a message July 22, 2019, to the participants in the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). The message came in a telegram from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. SECAM is marking its 50 anniversary during July 21-28 meetings in Uganda.
Following is the telegram:
The Most Reverend Gabriel Mbilingi, C.S.Sp.
Archbishop of Lubango
Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar
His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to learn of the celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, and he asks you kindly to convey his prayerful greetings to all gathered for the event. Joining you in thanking Almighty God for the many graces received by SECAM and for the fraternal communion that has characterized its work over these fifty years, His Holiness prays that its members may be strengthened in missionary discipleship, for “the great work of evangelization consists in striving to make the Gospel permeate every aspect of our lives so that we, in turn, can bring it to others” (Address to Representatives of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, 7 February 2015). In this way, SECAM will continue to be a valuable service to the local Churches throughout the entire continent of Africa. Entrusting those attending the celebrations to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, the Holy Father willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessings as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State
“This Jubilee is cause for joy and hope. Joy for the gifts of grace received over the past 50 years and hope for the work that will be accomplished in the years to come, with the grace of God,” said Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said in his speech yesterday in Kampala, on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of SECAM, reported by Fides News Agency. “The creation of SECAM was and still is an authentic sign of God for the Church in Africa. The Body can become a great force for the future of the Church in Africa. As such, it is our sincere desire that this anniversary will be an occasion for reflecting on and embracing spiritual and pastoral renewal, both on your part and that of the entire Church on this continent.”