Addis Abeba: Catholic Bishops from the AMECEA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa) Region have converged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 19th AMECEA plenary which began on Friday, 13th July, 2018. The 19th AMECEA plenary, has brought together about 100 bishops from the AMECEA region, and is expected to end on Monday, 23rd July, 2018. It will be held under the theme, “Vibrant Diversity, Equal Dignity, Peaceful Unity in God in the AMECEA Region”.
The grand opening ceremony of the AMECEA Plenary was scheduled to be held in the Millenium hall in Addis Abeba on Sunday, 15 July 2018. But due to the sudden change of events, the millennium hall could not be accessed for hosting the event. Immediately the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops’ Conference approached the Salesians if such an event could have the Don Bosco Campus as its venue. The Salesians, even though were little apprehensive in the beginning, later on gave their consent to host the event. Needless to say, the event was a grand success in which more than 8000 people from over 13 vicariates participated . According to the Deputy Secretary General of AMECEA, Rev. Fr. Chris Ndaga the plenary will feature six agenda items: Spiritual Recollection for the Bishops; the Official Opening Ceremony of the Plenary; Workshop by the Dicastery on the Promotion of Integral Human Development, Study Session, Business Session and the Closing Ceremony. Each Agenda of the plenary will be held under a different sub-theme. The Spiritual Recollection for the Bishops will run under the sub-theme Solidarity and Communion while the Opening Ceremony of the plenary, which will be launched in a grand Eucharistic Celebration, will be held under the sub-theme, Celebrating Vibrant Diversity. The Workshop by the Dicastery on the Promotion of Integral Human Development will run under the sub-theme, AMECEA championing for Integral Human Development. On the other hand, the Study Session and Business Session, which will be held from 18-21st July, 2018 will be held under the sub-themes, Peaceful Coexistence and Unity as well as Sustainability of AMECEA Institutions and Ownership of AMECEA Institutions respectively. The Closing ceremony for the Plenary will be held on Sunday 22nd July 2018 under the sub-theme Celebrating Our Oneness. This is the first time for Ethiopia to host the AMECEA Plenary. Meanwhile, delegates from different Church institutions are also taking part in the 10 day-plenary including: delegates from Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Missio AACHEN, Roman Curia, United States Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB), SIGNIS, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and CAMECO. Others are Church in Need, International Missionary Society, Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA), International Young Christian Society African Coordination Team, International Young Christian Workers Coordination Team and CAFOD among others.