Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has fulfilled his pledge of procuring vestments for all African Bishops coming for the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
The vestments arrived in the Country last month ahead of the Symposium due to begin July 21st. More than 400 international guests including cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and Religious Men and Women among others are expected to attend.
Joseph Anthony Zziwa, the Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference says the vestments are enough for all the delegates invited to attend the celebrations. He says some delegates will come from Vatican to represent Pope Francis.
President Museveni promised the vestments in June during this year’s celebrations of the Uganda Martyrs. It is unclear how much was spent on the vestments and their exact numbers.
Zziwa who is the Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese says momentum is high for the symposium despite persistent challenges related to inadequate finances. He says the symposium will commence with prayers at Rubaga Cathedral on July 21st presided by President Yoweri Museveni who will also close it on July 28th.
The Bishops will then converge for a mass at Namugongo Martyrs shrine on July 29th. The initial budget for the symposium that will also be the 18th SECAM Plenary Assembly is one billion shillings.
Bishop Zziwa says most of the days will be spent in closed-door meeting in Speke Resort Munyonyo. He adds that eight committees have been set up to mobilize resources towards the symposium through various activities including publication of a commemorative magazine open for public advertisements.
The Central Organizing Committee is being chaired by John Baptist Kauta, the Secretary of Uganda Episcopal Conference. Kauta says the Church should be supported to host the conference in exercise of faith and deep gratitude for the visible works of the Church in all places.
SECAM is a continental structure bringing together Catholic Bishops of Africa and Madagascar with the aim of promoting communion, collaboration, human development, ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, pastoral and theological research and formations amongst others.
It was birthed in Uganda on July 29th, 1969 and formally inaugurated by Pope Paul VI on July 31st at Rubaga Cathedral. The structure is composed of eight subsidiaries in charge of West Africa, East Africa, North Africa and Southern Africa amongst others.
Bishop Zziwa says the Secretariat of the Symposium is in Accra, Ghana. He says the symposium has grown lips and bounds over the years.