Over the past five years the Catholic Church in Africa established “Networking between Pastoral Institutes.” The aim of the workshop was to provide an African context for reflection on pastoral theology and a forum for an international African exchange of pastoral ministry. At this fora, representatives of leading pastoral institutes share their experiences to strengthen and inspire one another.
This year, the Pastoral Network Africa was meeting for the fourth time at “Lumen Christi Institute” in Arusha, Tanzania, from 3 to 6 February, 2017.
Members focused on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter, “Laudato Si,” “On the care for Our Common Home.” Members deliberated on its implications for the work of Pastoral Institutes in Africa. The encyclical further challenges every individual to be conscience of his/her surrounding, hence move an extra mile to care for God’s creation.
As a response to this call, most pastoral institutions in Africa have taken initiatives to raise this awareness, members committed themselves to consider the Pastoral care for the environment as one of the major concerns for the region by: making it a cross cutting issue in all Pastoral initiatives; making it part of the catechesis for the Catechumenate lessons; encouraging all church groups to make commitments to care for the environment eg Women, Youth, Men, Choirs; bringing awareness to all priests, religious, catechists, Seminaries, houses of formation, Novitiates and encouraging practical actions that motivate groups to be sensitive and proactive towards care for the environment.
The meeting brought together the following representatives from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia and Mali: The meeting was convened by Dr Stefen Voges and Professor Klaus Vellguth from Missio Aachen Germany.
By Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Chimombo-AMECEA Pastoral Coordinator