The Catholic Cultural Centre in Tanzania: An Overview
CANAA || By Rose Achiego, Waumini Communications || 20 November 2016
Situated in the Suburbs of Dar es Salaam City in Tanzania along the Indian Ocean port area and 15 Km from Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) – Kurasini Centre aond Conference Centre hosts TEC offices which comprises of seven Directorates and Nine Commissions with 121 employees.
With accommodation capacity of up to 120 guests, well equipped conference halls for workshops and seminars coupled with a restaurant, Kurasini hosts all the Bishops Permanent Council and Plenary meetings, besides attracting continental groups, civil society organizations and other faith based organizations.
Within the Centre is also a chapel and a prayer garden for spiritual nourishment, a dispensary in case one falls sick, an archive with Church related history, a gas station, a shipping unit for clearing and forwarding of goods from other countries through Indian Ocean and a TV/Audio recording studio for recording religious programs and other commercial events.
Informed by Pope Benedict XVI’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus, The Bishops of Tanzania strive to provide a conducive environment for retreats, meetings and other activities that require reflections and deliberations at Kurasini Center.
“Catholic cultural centres offer to the Church the possibility of presence and action in the field of cultural exchange. They constitute in effect public forums which allow the Church to make widely known, in creative dialogue, Christian convictions about man, woman, family, work, economy, society, politics, international life, the environment. Thus they are places of listening, respect and tolerance.”
TEC consists of the Plenary Assembly, the Permanent Council and the Secretariat whose main role is to coordinate pastoral, social and development programs initiated and implemented by the secretariat, facilitate diocesan pastoral, development and social programs to coordinate meetings of the members and maintain minutes of the same, implement pertinent resolutions of the Plenary Assembly and the Permanent Council as well as render different services to member Bishops.
TEC which has six metropolitans and 34 diocese, was founded in 1956 and was officially registered with the government of Tanzania in 1957. It is a member-based organization that includes all Catholic Bishops of Tanzania.
As a corporate body the TEC is a member of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and Symposium and Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).