Southern African Catholic bishops' plenary session

Archbishop Stephen Brislin (center), SACBC president

The Catholic bishops of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland meet twice a year. The first meeting is normally held in Pretoria (January) and the second one at Mariannhill (August). The meeting started on Tuesday but I only arrived on Wednesday evening as I was coming back from Mozambique. 

Our plenary sessions are characterized by the intense daily work and by the joy of being together. In fact, we might work from early in the morning until the evening but, after supper, you will find us together again sharing about our daily lives in our dioceses. 

The first day the bishops had half a day retreat in the morning and half a day of reflection on "church - state relations" with Fr Bate OMI.

Yesterday we had the official opening address by the president of the conference, archbishop Stephen Brislin and the report by the Secretary General, Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS.

Among other things, archbishop Brislin shared on the situation of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland and concluded saying:
"I bring up these issues for the following reasons. Firstly, we need to keep ourselves informed by good analysis of unfolding socio-political events. This is more than just being aware of news items – we need competent analysts to guide us in the meaning and implications of those news items. Secondly, we have to increase efforts to engage with government; thirdly, we need to form closer ties and to collaborate with organizations of civil society that have similar aims and values to our own on particular issues."

Sr Hermenegild Makoro, SACBC secretary general
A long list of themes followed during the day: the process of restructuring our conference, the Bishops' Lenten Appeal, the family desk, the importance of adding EWTN channel to the DSTV package, our response to the situation in Gaza...
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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