TRIENNIAL REPORT OF THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE FOR THE 17th PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF SECAM IN LUANDA, ANGOLA

#plenary17 #communications

Go proclaim the Good News to people of all nations (Mathew 28:19).

Communication, wherever and however it takes place, has opened up broader horizons for many people. This is a gift of God which involves a great responsibility. I like to refer to this power of communication as “closeness”. The encounter between communication and mercy will be fruitful to the degree that it generates a closeness which cares, comforts, heals, accompanies and celebrates. In a broken, fragmented and polarized world, to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family.  From: Pope Francis’ 2016 World Communications Day Message.

Your Eminences, Your Graces and My Lord Bishops, Partner Agencies, invited Guests, may the Peace of the Lord be with you all and best of wishes from the Communications Office of SECAM. 

1)    Introduction 

This report which covers the period August 2013 to June 10, 2016, gives an overview of the general activities of the Communications Office, projects that are being carried out and those that are yet to be undertaken. We have proffered some suggestions and made some requests for your kind consideration. These are intended to make the Office play a more effective and efficient role as far as the role of media is concerned in promoting the evangelisation efforts of the Church in Africa isconcerned.

2) Appointment of President of CEPACS/Chairman for Social Communications of SECAM.

The Communications Office would like to express its gratitude to you members of SECAM for having appointed Most Rev. Dr.  Emmanuel AdetoyeseBadejo, Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Nigeria, as the Episcopal Chairman of CEPACS- SECAM Communications. The letter of his appointment which took effect in February was signed by the President of SECAM, Most Rev. Gabriel Mbilingi, Archbishop of Lubango, Angola.

The appointment of Bishop Badejo will help revive the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications.  CEPACS, derived from the original French name: Comité Episcopal Pan-Africain des Communications Sociales. CEPACS which had been without a Chairman since 2002  was established in Ibadan, Nigeria, at the end of a meeting that took place from November, 28 to December 2, 1973 of African Bishops in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Stem Van Afrika (Voice of Africa) in The Netherlands.

Bishop Badejo, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Social Communications Office of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA-CERA0), is the fifth Chairman of CEPACS-Communications.

The new Chairman of CEPACS was officially introduced to the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli in Rome by Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi, President of SECAM, on February 6, 2015. This was during the visit of the Standing Committee of SECAM to the Vatican.

 In an effort to revive CEPACS, Bishop Badejohas already presided over a meeting of Regional Episcopal Chairmen and Coordinators of Social Communications and Partner Agencies held in Accra, Ghana in June this year. The meeting was successful   For details see the Communique and Resolutions attached to this report.

What is CEPACS?  Some of the objectives of CEPACS are:

a.     To stimulate, promote and coordinate the Church’s mass media activities in Africa both on the regional and the continental levels.

b.     To promote the Christian dimension by the use of all aspects of the mass media in the evangelisation process, which includes the integral development of the human person.

c.     To foster good relation with both Christian and secular media Organisations at the regional, continental and international levels.

d.     To work in a very special way and in close collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and with Catholic International Media Organisations e.g. SIGNIS. UCAP and CAMECO.

e.     To collaborate with other African and worldwide Organisations which have relations with these Catholic International Media Organisations.

3)    General Activities

Apart from his day-to-day activities, the Director of Communications continues to render relevant services to the other Offices of SECAM Secretariat. This involves issuing Press Releases, General information, protocol, networking with media Organisations, etc.  The main activity areas of the Office include the following:

i)                Publications:

a)    What is SECAM? : The Communications Office has published an updated electronic version of What is SECAM?  From time to time it will be updated on the website of SECAM.

b)   2017 Calendar: A 2017 SECAM Calendar with photos that depict activities of SECAM in the last few years is being printed for us by the Claretians in Cameroun at no cost to SECAM.

c)    SECAM Newsletter: Due to high printing and postage costs on the publication of Newsletters, the Office has found it expedient to send out news items on the activities of SECAM, for example, on appointments of new bishops, solidarity and condolences messages, messages from Regional and National Episcopal Conferences among others only by email until further notice. We will resume the publication of SECAM Newsletter when funds are available for providing electronic and hard versions.

d)   Directory of the Catholic Church in Africa.

Following the successful publication of the first Catholic Directory for Africa by SECAM in collaboration with the Pontifical Mission Societies of the French Bishops’ Conference in 2010, we wish to inform you that there is a delay in getting the second edition out. This is due to the fact that we are not getting funds for this project. Work has however commenced in having the Directory in electronic form. It is being placed on SECAM’s website as and when the information is received from dioceses and Conferences. There is lpoor flow of information from most dioceses and Episcopal Conferences for updating the Directory. We therefore appeal to those who have not submitted their updated information to kindly send these as soon as possible.

e)    Poster on the Continental Year of Reconciliation

The Communications Office, with suggestions from other staff members, designed the poster for the SECAM Continental Year of Reconciliation, from July 2015- July 2016. There is a lot that the Office can do if there is more and better collaboration between it and some of the offices. (Elaborate).

ii)              Press Releases and Selected news items:

Occasionally, the office issues Press Releases on activities of SECAM. News items that are of interest to members of SECAM are compiled and sent out from time to time to Bishops, News Agencies, Vatican Radio, etc. We are glad that some of the Regional and National Episcopal Conferences have been sending us news items for us to circulate as widely as possible on their behalf. Below are some of the major Press Releases and Selected news items issued during the period under review:

a)    Standing Committee Meetings from 2014- 2016.

b)    The passing on of   Rev. Fr.  Pierre Ile Bosangia, First Deputy Secretary General of SECAM (November 2014)

c)    Continental Workshop on Small Christian Communities.

d)    Appointment of Bishop Badejo as Chairman of Communications (February 2015).

e)    Standing Committee visit to the Vatican (February 2015). A Narrative report of that visit is on SECAM’s Website.

f)     Appointment of Mr.BerhanuTamene as SECAM’s Liaison Officer with the African Union (AU), February 2015.

g)    JPDC Congress in Namibia (March 2015).

h)    Appointment of Archbishop Gabriel Justice Anokye as President of Caritas Africa and Second Vice-President of Caritas Internationalis, Vatican. (May 2015).

i)      CCEE-SECAM Seminar on the Family in Mozambique (May 2015).

j)      African Bishops’ Consultative Meeting on the Synod of the Family (Accra, June 2015).

k)    A call to Effective Dissemination of HIV/AIDS pastoral Training Manual (Accra, June 2015).

l)      SECAM Day and the Launch of the Continental Year of Reconciliation (Accra, July 2015)

m)   Seminar on the Role of the Youth in Peace-building and Reconciliation in Africa (Kinshasa, DRC, August, 2015.

n)    Seminar on the Role of Women in Peace-building and Reconciliation in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, August/September, 2015).

o)    SECAM gets Observer Status at the African Union. (September 2015).

p)    SECAM  Staff Workshop on Website Management ( Accra,  September 2015)

q)    SECAM Secretariat study Session on Laudato Si (Accra, September 2015).

r)      BICAM Plenary Assembly in Rwanda in November 2015.

s)     RECOWA-CERAO Plenary Assembly in Ghana, February-March, 2016

t)      Meeting of Secretaries General of Regional Episcopal Conferences of Africa, in Ghana, March 2016.

u)    BICAM Workshop in South Africa, March, 2016.

iii)   Narrative Report of theStanding Committee’s Visit to the Vatican

 We have also prepared a narrative report of an official visit of the Standing Committee to the Vatican in February last year. The report has been posted on the SECAM website.

iv)Press Conference in the Vatican.

During the Synod on the Family in October last year, the Director of Communications organised a Press Conference and one-on-one interviews for the Synod Fathers from Africa. About 30 media practitioners accredited to the Vatican covered the Press Conference.

4) On-going Projects/Programmes

a)    Information and Documentation Centre.

Through the initiative of the Communications Office, SECAM Secretariat is updating its Information and Documentation/Records Centre.  Rev. Fr. KibromTseggai, a Priest from Eritrea working in the Accra Archdiocese has completed the first phase of the project- thanks to a grant from the USCCB Solidarity Fund for Africa. There are plans for this Centre to go digital as part of the Second Phase of the project. This is an important project which we urgeshould be undertaken at all levels throughout the Catholic Church in Africa.

b)   SECAM Website Upgrading and Workshop.

The new SECAM website address is: WWW.SECAM.org or SCEAM .org).  It replaces the previousone:www.secam-sceam.org.A website training workshop was held at the SECAM Secretariat, in September 2015 for the staff of the secretariat.

Most Rev. Emmanuel A. Badejo, Episcopal Chairman of CEPACS- Communications in a speech read on his behalf emphasised the need for SECAM to build a very strong and interactive website. He said that SECAM’s website should act as an invaluable and always-available resource of information about the many activities of the various offices of SECAM and other pastoral activities and initiatives in Africa. “We have to let the world know what we are doing- we have to tell our story and present it effectively and efficiently. Nobody else can do this better than we can ourselves.”

 The resource person for the Workshop was Mr. Norman Servais of Metonia and AWESTRUCK Studios in the Archdiocese of Cape Town, South Africa. He gave participants basic training on how to manage website content and use the web interface. By the time of your Assembly much work would have been done to seamlessly redirect visitors from the old domain to the new one. The new site will soon be equipped with a powerful networking functionality with a clean and simple design.

In the near future, the website will aggregate the news content from the various Regional Episcopal Conferences. This would act as a valuable service that SECAM could offer and promote the work of the Regional Conferences. The Conferences will also be able to make a home for themselves on the new site in an interactive group focused on their particular Conference. This will facilitate a more consolidated approach which SECAM is trying to encourage in an effort to illustrate an African vision of the Church. There will be a provision of additional content such as the daily liturgical readings, a customized EWTN TV feed for Africa, etc. We are planning to include multi-media facilities that will provide the opportunity to have video conferencing when required.  With our own domain name we now have more secured email addresses created for the Secretariat staff. You are invited to join this platform and create your own official email addresses to avoid using your private addresses for official matters.

It was recommended that SECAM Secretariat equip one of its members with the graphic design skills and tools or employ a Graphic Designer to manage its information flow. This will reduce the workload that needs to be outsourced to the Web Designers.

The Workshop, organised by the Communications Office of SECAM was made possible, with a grant from the Solidarity Fund for Africa of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). We are very grateful to them for this great support.

c)    The Catholic News Agency for Africa (CANAA).

The Catholic News Agency for Africa (CANAA) project which was initiated by the Communications Office in 2007 and eventually endorsed during your Plenary Assembly in July 2013 is functioning well but is in dire need of financial sustenance necessary for its work and its growth.   We consider this continental initiative a worthy communication project that aims at having Africa tell her own story.

The fundamental mission of CANAA is to gather news and report news about and of interest to the local Churches of Africa and to disseminate this information to the whole Church in Africa, as well as to the Church globally and to anyone who wants to learn about the reality and development of the Church in Africa.

 CANAA has since 2013 been providing pastoral, socio-political, economic news, features, commentaries and analysis relevant to people within and outside Africa.  For your information there is a free subscription to CANAA Electronic News through CANAA’s website: www.canaafrica.org for online subscription or by sending arequest to: canaa.coordinator@gmail.com.

A Board of Directors has been put in place; with membership drawn from across the entire continent. It is chaired by Most Rev. Charles G. Palmer-Buckle. A Coordinator, Rev. Fr.  Don BoscoOnyalla, is handling the day-to-day work of CANAA. CANAA has since 2014 been officially registered at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 

CANAA needs the support of all Church members, particularly the hierarchy on the continent to survive and thrive.  We are therefore appealing to your generosity to support this project to make it succeed in promoting the evangelising mission of the Church in Africa. With your commitment and dedication such an important project will not fall through.

Since you have launched a SECAM Day Collection, some of the proceeds of that collection and the support of some individual bishops may go a long way to sustain it. We have to express our appreciation to Most Rev. Charles G. Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Accra, who has personally supported CANAA with more than US$30,000 in the last three years. The same goes to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria who has raised about US$11,000.00 at the instance of Bishop Emmanuel Badejo to support the work of CANAA. This is a gesture that ought to be replicated in other endowed areas and countries of Africa.  Today, information/communication is life of modern organisationsand CANAA is well positioned to serve that purpose.

 Apart from the SECAM DAY Collection, it may be necessary to have a special fund-raising campaign for CANAA. Some Foreign Partners are ready to support CANAA on condition that the Bishops of Africa show more commitment to the sustainability of the project.

We have to understand that the success of this project lies in the hands of the Church in Africa. We should resist depending solely on foreign donor funds. We have to try as much as possible to get much of the funding locally for it to take off in full swing. (Archbishop Palmer-Buckle Bishop and Badejomay elaborate on this.)

d)   Documentary on the activities of the Church in Africa.

In order to give more visibility of the work of SECAM and indeed that of the whole Church in Africa, the Communications Office was making preliminary preparations for a project that will involve the production of a film or a documentary on the activities of the Catholic Church in Africa. The documentary would be structured along the lines of Ecclesia in Africa and AfricaeMunus.  Issues on socio-economic, good governance and democracy, environment etc will be given priority in this documentary. A lot is being done in our various countries in the realm of evangelisation and integral human development yet little or nothing is put in the limelight or public domain. We hope that the documentary will address this.  Even, though you gave your approval in 2013 for this project to be carried out we have, unfortunately,  put it on hold for the time being in order for us to concentrate on the work of the Continental News Agency-CANAA. The reason(s) is self-explanatory-elaborate.

5) Training Programmes/ Seminars

a)    Seminarians and Religious in Training

We would like to repeat a request made in earlier reports on the need to get Priests and Religious to engage the media more than they do at the moment.  This may start during their formation in the Seminaries and Novitiates.  It has been emphasised time and again that Seminaries and Religious Formation Centres include the teaching of Social Communications in their curricula. A 1986 Guide of the Congregation of Education: Guide to the Training of future Priests concerning the Instruments of Social Communications gives details on this need. It is necessary to do more in response to the call made in this Guide.  Where this cannot be done immediately, it would be good if   short courses or seminars could be arranged for priests on the diocesan and national levels.  There is a saying that   if your child lives by the beach you better teach him/her to learn how to swim than build a wall to prevent him from swimming.

b)   Collaboration with SIGNIS and UCAP

One of the priorities of the Communications Office is to assist in the training of Catholic Media professionals on the continent in order to strengthen their capacities in the realm of Social Communications.  We, in most cases, do this in collaboration with SIGNIS-Africa and the Union of African Catholic Press (UCAP). 

Plans are on to organise a training programme for members of SIGNIS-Africa next year. SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication). The training will focus on Catholic Radio and Television Stations. There are many Catholic broadcasting stations that need to be helped to come up with much better productions/programmes. SIGNIS International through the Propagation of Faith has been supporting some of our projects; we are grateful to them for this assistance.

In July-August 2014, a Workshop and a Congress of the Union of Catholic Journalists in Africa (UCAP) took place in Bamako, Mali. The next programme will take place next year in Cape Town, South Africa.   New officers were elected during the Bamako Congress, they include:

-President: Mr. George Sunguh, Kenya

-First Vice-President: Mr. Desire Baere, Democratic Republic of Congo.

-Second Vice-President: Mrs. Victoria Lugey, Ghana

– Secretary-General: Mr. RoderiqueDembele, Mali

-Treasurer: Mr. CleophasTyenou, Mali.

Inventory: The Catholic Church in Africa has certainly over the years sponsored the training of personnel—Clergy, Religious and lay people—in different fields of the communication media in Africa, Europe, Canada and the US. Would it not be useful to know those who have been trained, in what, and to what level? Are they working in the communication apostolate? In Church owned media or outside? Such an inventory could be made by national and regional social communications office for each country and the results forwarded to SECAM Secretariat.

 6) General Information

a)     Relations with Vatican & Foreign Media Professionals

We have also built a very strong relations with the international media persons, particularly those officials who are attached to the Vatican Press Office; VIS; MISNA; FIDES; EWTN; CNS; La Croix of France; Aleteia; National Catholic Reporter; ANSA; Rome Reports, LUMEN television in Nigeria, to mention but a few. 

b)    Weekly Radio Programme on Radio Veritas, South Africa.

The Director of Communications of SECAM, since September 2013, at the request of the Founder and Manager of Radio Vartias, Rev. Fr. Emil Blaser OP,     has been participating in a weekly programme on Radio Veritas in Johannesburg, South Africa. This programme gives us the opportunity to give information about the work of the various offices of SECAM and sometimes about news around the continent. This indeed is one of the ways in contributing to make SECAM more visible. The programme is aired every Thursday morning on 92.7 FM frequency. It is also available on the internet/online.

c)   New Catholic Private Television Stations.

A number of Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences have set up Television stations, for example, in Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Burkina Faso. The following have beenestablished within the last three years:

i)  Lumen Christi, a Private Satellite Television Station has been established by a Lay man in Nigeria. According to the founder, LCTC will eventually be handed over to the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria.

ii)The Bishops’ Conference of Cote d’ Ivoire have recently established a national Television Station in Abidjan.

d)    Broadcasts from the Vatican and World Communications Day

A number of countries are now having direct connection for the broadcast of Vatican Radio programmes. We are therefore encouraging all countries to get their national radio and television stations to provide daily broadcast of Programmes from Vatican Radio, particularly those presided over by the Holy Father during Christmas and Easter.

We would also like to emphasise the need for the celebration of World Communications Day at the National and Regional levels.

e)   Relations with other Organisations

 This office has close working relations with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) of Germany, and the World Catholic Association for Communications (SIGNIS). We also have very good working relations with the Communications Office of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE). The Director of Communications was invited to a meeting of Media Coordinators of National Episcopal Conferences in Europe that took place in Portugal in May 2014.

7) Some of our Major Requests for your kind consideration

a)    Survey of CEPACS-Communications Office

The Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) in Aachen, Germany in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications carried out a Survey of CEPACS-Communications. The report gives a summary of the process implemented so far concerning the development of an outline of the future tasks, role and function of the SECAM Communication. CAMECO is seeking the approval of SECAM to organise a workshop on the results of the survey and also to gather more suggestions/recommendations regarding the future of CEPACS and the Communications Office of SECAM.

b)    Appointing of Regional Communications Coordinators.

Once, again, we would like to appeal to you to kindly help your regions to appoint full-time Communications Coordinators at the regional level. Apart from AMECEA and RECOWA-CERAO, the other regions in Africa do not have full-time Communications Officers or even officesThis makes it difficult for us to have meaningful communications programmes at the regional and continental levels and the situation needs to change with your help.

c)    An Appeal for the Funding of the Communications of SECAM

The securing of funds from Partner Agencies for carrying out projects and activities of the Communications Office and remuneration of the staff is getting more and more difficult. It is for this reason that we would like to recommend that a more sustainable source of funding be found to lessen the burden on this Office. We spend too much time in search of funding for our activities. The Office for the past ten years has been managed by virtually one person. An appeal is again made for the employment of more staff (for example an Office Secretary who can also handle the Website of SECAM) to enable it give of its best for the good of the Church in Africa.

d)    RE:   SECAM DAY and Self-Reliance- A Proposal

   It is gratifying to note that steps are being taken regarding the approval you gave following a suggestion of the Communications Office for the celebration of SECAM DAY/ COLLECTIONS.  To go a step further, we are suggesting that on the issue of Self-reliance you consider setting up a Continental Fund-Raising Committee to work out the modalities. (Elaborate).

e)     The role and function of the Communications Office.

We are appealing to you to dispassionately look at the role and function of the Communications Office with regard to the Organogramme of SECAM. It has very little or nothing to do with the Statutes. An explanation on this issue is contained in memo that has already been sent to the President of SECAM. Bishop Badejo may elaborate on this issue.

f)    Directory

We are appeal to dioceses and Conferences that have not yet submitted their updated information for the Continental Directory of the Catholic Church in Africa to kindly do so as soon as possible.

8) General Concerns about the Future of Communications in the Church in Africa.

It must be emphasised that the Church in Africa has to wake up to the challenges of the media otherwise we will be crowded out by other religious bodies or groups.  With the growing number of Catholic radio stations on the continent coupled with the new media technology, e.g., internet services, social media- twitter,  face-time,  twitter, facebook, linkedin, whatsapp,etc. the Church should endeavour to take advantage of them for her  evangelising mission.

 The Church in Africa also has to invest in both human and material resources if we truly want to reach as many people as possible in our evangelisation efforts in these modern and secularising times.

It is therefore our hope and prayer that SECAM Communications will get the needed support from you to enable it offer efficient and effective services for the good of the Church and our Continent.

As  G. K. Chesterton said: We do not want … a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world.

9. Necrology:

We would like to inform you and to kindly request you to remember in your prayers our collaborators who have died in the past three years, particularly the following:

a)    His Eminence, Bernard Cardinal Agre, Archbishop Emeritus of Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire. He died in Paris on June 9, 2014 at the age of 88.  Cardinal Agre served for many years as President of CEPACS.

b)    Rt. Rev. Joseph Befe-Ateba, Bishop of Kribi who died in South Africa on June 4, 2014 at the age of 52. He was the immediate-past Director of the Communications Commission of SECAM.

c)     Rev, Fr, Andre Quenum, Editor of La Croix du Benin who died last year. He was one the Task Force members who supported this office in the initial work for the setting up of CANAA.

d)    Mother Angelica, a Nun who founded the worldwide Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), passed on Easter Sunday this year at age 92. In addition to founding the Eternal World Television Network, Mother Angelica was the foundress of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and the Knights of the Holy Eucharist. Her work, begun in the cloister, reached across the globe. She was a convincing sign as to how even the humblest of beginnings can yield abundant fruit.

e)    Knight Commander Robert Molhant born in 1940 died on April 12, 2016 at his home in Brussels. He was the first Secretary General of SIGNIS (2002-2005) and Secretary General of OCIC, the International Catholic Organization for Cinema, (1979-2002). On his retirement from SIGNIS, he took on the Presidency of CREC International, a Communications and Media Training Institute in Lyon, France. To mark his retirement from SIGNIS in 2005, Robert was appointed by the Pope as a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. In December 2006, he was honoured by the Salesian University in Rome with a Doctorate in Social Communications (HonorisCausa) for his contribution to communications. He was a devoted family man, with three children and six grandchildren.

10) Appreciation and Gratitude

We wish to express our sincere thanks to all our Partner Agencies, our Technical Consultants and all those who have given invaluable contribution to the work of this Office.

On a personal note, I will like to let you know that this is the last time that I will be presenting you a report in my capacity as Director of Communications of SECAM. I informed the Standing Committee, verbally, during its meetings of October 2015 and, in writing, in February this year about my decision to leave SECAM after 11 years of service. I had earlier spent about 24 years in the Communications Commission of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  (Give a verbal elaboration on the reasons for having taken this decision).

I would like to convey special thanks and appreciation to the past and present Presidents and Standing Committee members and all of you Bishops of SECAM for having given me the opportunity to serve the Church in Africa in this capacity. Please permit me to mention the following for the enormous role that they have played in my life at SECAM Secretariat:

a)    Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference under the then Presidency of Cardinal Peter Turkson for having released me to serve at the Communications Office of SECAM.

b)    Two former Presidents of SECAM- His Eminences, Cardinals John Cardinal Onaiyekan& Polycarp Pengo for having employed me, supported me and indeed for their fatherly advice during their Presidency at SECAM.

c)    Archbishop Palmer-Buckle of Accra and Treasurer of SECAM; we have gone through thick and thin together from my days at the National Catholic Secretariat of Ghana up till this point. Without his encouragement and support in my work CANAA, in particular, would not have seen the light of day.

d) Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, the new President of CEPACS/SECAM Communications, whom I am more than convinced will move the Communications activities at SECAM to higher levels.

e)    Rev. Fr. Francois-Xavier Damiba, the immediate past Secretary General of SECAM for the great collaboration, cordial working relations, his pastoral and brotherly support, etc.

f)    A number of Partner Agencies, organisations and individuals; the USCCB Solidarity Fund for Africa and two of its staff- Messrs Patrick Markey and Fritz Zuger; the Episcopal Conferences of Spain, Italy and CCEE( Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe; Aid to the Church in Need, Germany; SIGNIS; Propagation of Faith; CAMECO; former President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Cardinal John Patrick Foley, who showed great interest in my work in the Church.

g)     Past and present staff of SECAM Secretariat; National and Regional Episcopal Conferences in Africa, etc. To each and every one of you I say THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

 May Mary, the Queen of Africa, bless you in your esteemed apostolate in this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. And may we be merciful as the Father is Merciful so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace with renewed enthusiasm for the Church in Africa.

Thank you so much. God bless!

Approved by:

 Most Rev.  Emmanuel A. Badejo, Chairman of CEPACS-Communications Office of SECAM.

And Presented by:

By Benedict Batabe  Assorow.

Director of Communications

CEPACS/Communications Office, SECAM.

communications@secam.org

Tel: 00 233 244274186

English
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