III AFRICAN CONTINENTAL MEETING
THE FUTURE OF CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA AND IN THE WORLD. Catholic Action in Africa, launch out into the deep, look to the future with courage!•UGANDA – Lugazi, 5-9 August 2006
Excellencies, dear friends,
We want to thank the Lord and share our joy for being here with you on the occasion of such a great solemnity as the Transfiguration.
We have come from different countries of Africa and Europe to this Shrine which is so meaningful for the Church in Africa and in the world on the occasion of the III African Continental meeting promoted by IFCA together with Lugazi diocese and the National Committee for Laity of Uganda. We thank H.E. Msgr. Mattias Ssesamanya, Bishop of Lugazi diocese, on behalf of everybody.
By this Eucharistic celebration we feel in communion with the universal Church and with the Holy Father Benedict XVI. We wish to assure him our faithfulness, our prayer and our commitment and we are particularly grateful for the message he addressed to us.
We would like to introduce ourselves and tell you shortly what CA is and for this reason we will listen again to the three duties that the Servant of God John Paul II gave to CA of the whole world during a meeting in Loreto in 2004.
The first is “contemplation”: strive to walk on the path of holiness, keeping your gaze fixed on Jesus, the only Teacher and Saviour of all
The second duty is “communion”: endeavour to promote the spirituality of unity with the Pastors of the Church, with all the brethren in the faith and with the other ecclesial associations. Be the leaven of dialogue with all the people of good will
The third duty is “mission”: as lay people, take the leaven of the Gospel to homes and schools, to places of work and recreation. The Gospel is a word of hope and salvation for the whole world.
There are a lot of CA associations in the world using this name or another. They started to meet since 1987 and formed IFCA (International Forum of Catholic Action), a young body that now is almost 20 years old.
IFCA is composed of associations or federations of national or diocesan associations and movements which keep together the four notes stated in Apostolicam Actuositatem20 and in Christifideles Laici 31, even if they take different forms and names.
IFCA goals are the following:
being a place of meeting and solidarity between the Catholic Action of different countries and regions
analyzing in a worldwide dimension, the problems that society poses both to the Church and to Catholic Action
animating and promoting the “new evangelization” with due respect to the structural and pastoral reality of every Catholic Action.
It was settled and works as “forum”, that is a place of meeting, exchange, collaboration and promotion of Catholic Action, fully respecting the characteristics and the conditions of every local Church.
We can define Catholic Action as a family, since it includes people of different ages, accompanies them during their human and Christian growing, it forms them to be responsible on the path of sanctity. It introduces them in the wide family of God that is the Church called to announce the joy of the Gospel.
As John Paul II said: “The Church is counting on the active presence of Catholic Action and on its faithful devotion to the great cause of Christ’s Kingdom. I too look to catholic Action with great confidence, and I encourage all its members to be generous witnesses of the Good news of the Gospel in order to restore hope to contemporary society which is in search of peace.” (12th September 2004).
- Oana TUDUCE, Catholic Action of Rumania - IFCA Secretariat