ITCABIC of The Gambia and Sierra Leone Plenary Meeting 2019

27th January 2019

ITCABIC of The Gambia and Sierra Leone Plenary Meeting 2019

Inter-Territorial Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Gambia and Sierra Leone (ITCABIC) plenary meeting 2019

The plenary meeting of ITCABIC took place from the 20th to 27th January 2019. The meeting was hosted in the Catholic Diocese of Bo, Sierra Leone.

The President of Conference in his Opening Address welcomed all the Bishops present at the meeting. He further remarked that, “We all look forward to these days as cherished moments to live our unity and communion. The opportunity of our annual meeting offers us time for prayer, reflection, sharing and discussions on issues of common pastoral concerns. Suffice it to say, we have been bonded together in a unity of service to our particular Churches in union with the universal Church”.

The meeting also witnessed a momentous event with the presence of the new Apostolic Nuncio in The Gambia and Sierra Leone, Most Rev. Dagoberto Campos Salas, Titular Bishop of Forontoniana. In his address to the Bishops, he encouraged them to sustain the unity and communion among them as shepherds to their local Churches. He assured them of his availability and support to their individual and collective efforts in the building of the Kingdom of God in our Episcopal Conference.

The week-long meeting began with a Day of Recollection and the reflections were based on the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XV, Maximum Illud, “On the Activity of Missionaries in the World”. The choice of the document was made in light of the declaration of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, of the Extraordinary Mission Month October 2019, in commemoration of the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter. On the second day, the Bishops were focused on a study session on the theme: “Pastoral Care of Youth in the ITCABIC Conference with reference to the Synod on Youth in 2018. The succeeding days were dedicated to the meeting and administrative, pastoral and social concerns at the level of Conference were discussed.

The climax of the meeting was the Mass of Thanksgiving presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, Bo. During the Mass, the Apostolic Nuncio presented his Letters of Credence to Bishop Charles A. M. Campbell, President of Conference, in the presence of the Bishops and representatives of the priests, religious and lay faithful of the various dioceses. Moreover, a Communique issued by the Bishops was read to the gathering of the faithful and would be circulated in the Dioceses.

The following were the Bishops in attendance: Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles – Archdiocese of Freetown, Bishop Gabriel Mendy, C.S. Sp – Diocese of Banjul, Bishop Natale Paganelli, SX, - Diocese of Makeni, Bishop Henry Aruna – Diocese of Kenema and Bishop Charles A. M. Campbell - Catholic Diocese of Bo. Rev. Fr. Paul Morana Sandi as Secretary General.

At the end of the meeting, the Bishops decided that the plenary meeting of 2020 will be hosted in the Diocese of Kenema.

On behalf of the Bishops, the Secretariat extends gratitude and appreciation to the Bishop, priests, religious and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Bo for their hospitality and support during the course of the meeting.