Nairobi (Fides Service) – “Africa may soon have an All-Africa association of all Religious men and women”. This was affirmed by Consolata missionary Father Vincenzo Salemi, co-ordinator of a Meeting for Religious Men and Women being held 7-11 July at the Dimesse Sister Spirituality Centre in Nairobi. About 40 delegates of the English-speaking and French-speaking Conferences of Major Superiors from 22 African countries are attending the Meeting which is intended to pave the way for an All-Africa association of all Religious men and women. “Although only a preparatory meeting, this is already an important opportunity for the different Congregations to compare their experience particularly in the field of inculturation of the faith” Father Salemi told Fides Service.
The idea of a Continental Conference is very important because it will enable the different Congregations to coordinate their work. Other objectives are: encourage religious vocations, offer reciprocal support, examine together challenges facing religious life on the continent of Africa, establish structures of dialogue with the Symposium of Bishops Conferences of Africa and Madagascar and with international bodies.
The Nairobi meeting was prepared by a committee, African Collaboration Committee presided by Francois Richard superior general of the Missionaries of Africa, secretary Sister Josephine Olangunju SHCJ. Committee members include representatives of the Union of Superiors General, and the International Union of Superiors General, in dialogue with the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar SECAM.
Welcoming the participants Father Richard said he was happy to see representatives from all over the continent, underlining that the All-Africa meeting of Religious men and women is the first of its kind.
From Rome special guests include Sister Anne Margherite Fromaget representing the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Father Joseph Koonamparamil, representing the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and Father Peter Lwaminda, Secretary general of SECAM as well as representatives from Bishops Conferences in South America and Europe. LM (Fides Service 10/7/2003 EM lines 33 Words: 346)