ITCABIC MEETING HELD IN MAKEN
The Inter-Territorial Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Gambia and Sierra Leone (ITCABIC) met in Makeni from the 26th to 29th January 2010. Present at the meeting were the following:
- His Excellency George Antonysamy, Apostolic Nuncio in Liberia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone
- Most Rev. George Biguzzi, Bishop of Makeni and who unto the end of that meeting was the President of ITCABIC
- Most Rev. Edward Tamba Charles, Archbishop of Freetown and Bo
- Most Rev. Patrick Daniel Koroma, Bishop of Kenema
- Most Rev. Robert Ellison, Bishop of Banjul
- Fr. Henry Aruna, Secretary General of ITCABIC
At this meeting an opening address was delivered by His Excellency George Antonysamy, Apostolic Nuncio in Liberia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone. Other issues pertinent to ITCABIC were discussed. Reports were given by the President, Secretary General and National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The Rectors of the two ITCABIC Seminaries, St. Paul’s Major Seminary and St. Kizito’s Pre-Major Seminary, gave their own reports. These reports were discussed by the Bishops and important decisions were made.
The Bishops also had a forum with the following:
- The Bishops had an open discussion with Sr. Ann Stevens, President of the Conference of Religious Superiors. Among other important matters discussed, the Bishops expressed their appreciation for the work of the Religious in ITCABIC and the continuous collaborative ministry that is very evident in carrying out the mission mandate of Christ.
- At this forum Fr. Bruno presented a draft copy of a Child Protection Policy for the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone and possibly the Gambia. Final decision is to be made at meeting that will be held later.
- Fr. Joseph Turay and the representatives of the School Sisters of Notre-dame presented the accreditation of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK), awarded by the Tertiary Commission of the Government of Sierra Leone. The Bishops were informed about the different departments and the possibility to train lay people in the department of Religious Studies which may help to bust up pastoral ministry in the conference.
The issue of the proposed Diocese of Bo was discussed. All documentations have been forwarded to Rome. The Conference now awaits the final decision from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
At the end of the meeting elections were held. Most Rev. Patrick D. Koroma was elected President of ITCABIC, and Most Rev. Edward Tamba Charles was elected Vice President.
The next meeting will be held sometime next year in the Diocese of Banjul. Let us continue to pray for the Bishops of ITCABIC as they continue to shepherd the people of God in their respective dioceses.
I bring you all prayerful best wishes,
Fr. Henry Aruna