DAR SALAAM SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 (CISA) – Pope Francis has called on members of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA) to relive the gospel in order to offer a better witness to today’s society and the Church.
The Pope was speaking through a written message to more than 150 Catholic sisters from nine countries gathered in Tanzania from August 27 to September 2 for the 17th Plenary of ACWECA the regional meeting for sisters under the theme “Empowerment and Revitalization”.
“This assembly will be an opportunity to rediscover the freshness of the Gospel, from which new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world,” Pope Francis wrote in his message to the gathering, reported Global Sisters Report.
João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, the Holy See’s Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, delivered the message of the Holy Father to the Plenary and encouraged the sisters to “put new wine in new wineskins” by utilizing new and creative practices to adapt to today’s rapidly changing reality.
During the assembly, the sisters took stock of the past three years and decided to emphasize improving formation of new sisters going forward and on August 31, the 106 voting members of ACWECA’s assembly voted on a new leadership board.
The members also voted to include Zimbabwe as the 10th country in the group. ACWECA is the only regional association of sisters on the continent. The 43-year-old organization represents approximately 40,000 sisters in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The last ACWECA assembly in 2014 took place in Zambia and the next plenary in 2020, is scheduled to take place in Kenya.