By Paschal Norbert
LAGOS, NOVEMBER 3, 2023 (CISA)- Ahead of the upcoming 50th-anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), Rt Rev Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, the chairman of the African Bishops’ communications committee has averred that preparations for the gathering of are in high gear and the delegates to the four-day jubilee will have an unforgettable experience.
According to Bishop Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo and president of CEPACS, the event, which is scheduled for November 18 to 21, 2023, in Lagos Nigeria, will be the biggest assembly of Catholic Bishops and Communicators in Africa.
Speaking on the choice of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city as the host of the Golden Jubilee fete, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos expressed his joy and support for the forthcoming celebrations.
“We are happy that CEPACS has chosen Lagos as the venue for their 50th-anniversary celebration. By the grace of God, with the quality of personalities serving on the LOC, and with the support of the entire people of God in the Archdiocese, I believe that the event shall be a resounding success,” he stated.
In the weeks leading to the anniversary celebrations, CEPACS launched the logo for the upcoming golden jubilee, which has been described by Fr Dieu Donne Kofi, the Communication Coordinator for the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) as speaking “directly to Africa as a church that appreciates unity in diversity.”
In an interview with AMECEA Online, Fr Dieu Donne said that the choice of the design and abstract message in the logo is reflective of the Church in Africa, which is “one family of God and must always live as such. We only become better at what we do if we bring all on board and are tolerant of one another.”
The principle of the logo borrows from the Sankofa, a word and shape of a bird, derived from the Akan people of Ghana that one should remember the past to make positive progress in the future.
According to Fr Dieu Donne, reflecting on the decade-long hiatus of the activities of CEPACS since 2004, and in which the appointment of Bishop Badejo as president in 2015, saw the revival of the committee, which was founded in 1973 by SECAM and given the mandate of promoting the use of modern means of mass communications as tools of evangelization in the Church in Africa. The concept of the logo “is therefore, a time to look back on the intention of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and revive ways to promote the use of modern means of mass communications as tools for evangelization in the continent.”
CEPACS, whose acronym is from the original French name: Comité Episcopal Pan-Africain des Communications Sociales, 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, to stimulate, promote and coordinate the Church’s mass media activities in Africa both on the regional and the continental levels.