KAMPALA – The Catholic Church has appealed for financial help from well wishers to assist in organizing the 18th Plenary Assembly and Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
SECAM is the Assembly of the African Bishops, that will be making 50 years in this month, with the climax of the celebrations to be hosted in Kampala, Uganda.
SECAM was launched by His Holiness Blessed Pope Paul VI when he was welcomed to Kampala in July 1969, the first ever visit of a Pope to Africa.
The delegates include Cardinals Archbishops and Bishops. Pope Francis had been invited to preside over the celebrations but earlier in the year, the Pontiff informed President Museveni that he was not able to make it.
It is understood that the Pope will be represented by a delegation from the Vatican, which is likely to include the African Cardinals serving at the Holy See — Peter Turkson from Ghana, Robert Sarah Guinea, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa of Tanzania, who works as the Secretary for the of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican.
On May 10, Bishop Zziwa launched a fundraising drive intended to raise about UGX. 1 billion, that is needed as part of the local church’s support to the organising of the celebrations and praised the role of the laity Christians in supporting the church.
“The SECAM Golden Jubilee will require some funding and it is for that reason that we are gathered here to look for the support of individual companies and other people of good will to assist us in raising about four billion (UGX. 4bn), which is our budget. The funds will be used for accommodation, upkeep, food and transport of the delegates and organization,” Bishop Zziwa, who was flanked by SECAM Vice President, Bishop Mathieu.
Madega, of Mouila, Gabon and SECAM the Secretary-General, Fr. Joseph Komakoma said.
The UEC Chairman said the Ugandan bishops are always happy and proud of the contribution of the laity to the growth of the Church, and for the support rendered to her projects.