The Eastern Africa Catholic bishops assemble to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) that coincides with their 17th Plenary Assembly beginning June 29 to July 6, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya.
AMECEA is a Catholic body for the National Catholic Episcopal Conferences of eight countries: Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and affiliate members Djibouti and Somalia.
The conference whose theme is: AMECEA family of God celebrating a Golden jubilee of evangelization in solidarity was officially opened by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki on June 28 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).
On Saturday July 2, 2011 there will be a grand celebration at CUEA, concelebrated by cardinals to mark the golden jubilee.
During the opening ceremony, the Chairman of the Catholic body Archbishop Tarcisio Ziyaye said, “AMECEA has contributed to shape the destiny of people in Africa through promotion of human rights, justice and peace, freedom of religion advocacy for the oppressed and good governance.”
He noted that though challenges are inevitable they must not lead to destructive divisions or wholesale alliances that could endanger the common good and welfare of the people in the region.
The assembly attended by over 350 delegates including 150 bishops from Eastern Africa will also announce new office bearers during the closing ceremony to be held at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
The day before the opening ceremony on June 28, the new ultra-modern learning resource center at CUEA named after Pope Paul VI was officially commissioned by Merdardo Cardinal Mazombwe Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Lusaka, Zambia.
The last AMECEA plenary meeting was held in Lusaka Zambia three years ago.
AMECEA Commissions New Pope Paul VI Learning Centre
A new 24-hour state of the art learning and resource centre was commissioned on June 28, 2011 by the bishops of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
The new centre situated at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya is named after Pope Paul VI.
Officially commissioning the ultra-modern resource center, Zambian Cardinal, Medardo Mazombwe thanked the university for opting to honor the late Pope Paul VI in this manner.
“The late Pope believed and preached about truth; hence this centre intends to play a central part towards this direction,” he observed.
In his address, the university Vice Chancellor Rev Prof John Maviiri said the council of CUEA had reached that decision having considered the intimate communication the late pope had made with Africa having been one of the popes to have visited Africa in modern times.
“And when he visited us in Kampala, Uganda in 1969, he is reported to have encouraged the African people to be missionaries to themselves”, he said.
He paid tribute to all those who made their financial contributions towards the project and in particular the Episcopal Conference of Italy.
He said the centre, which will avail services to the university and other institutions of higher learning will equally serve the local communities in the area.
Accordign to him when complete the project will cost more than Kshs 2 billion.