The 17th Plenary Assembly of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa, (ACWECA) has commenced at the Tanzania Episcopal Conference – Kurasini Centre in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

 The Plenary Assembly that runs from 26th August to 2nd September 2017 was officially opened on Sunday 27th with a holy Mass led by His Eminence João Braz Cardinal de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The holy Mass was also concelebrated by Rt. Rev. Eusebius Nzigilwa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam and Rt. Rev. Renatus Nkwande, Bishop Chairman in charge of Religious in Tanzania, among others.

Bishop Renatus Nkwande who represented the Bishop Chairman of TEC read his welcome speech to the Assembly. In the speech Rt. Rev. Tarcisius Ngalalekutumwa, the President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, applauded the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa for choosing Tanzania to host its 17th Plenary Assembly.

“The decision to hold the 17th ACWECA Plenary in Tanzania has been a blessing to this country. Consecrated women are precious in the Church and in the world,” he affirmed. He said that through their dedication to God, consecrated women embraces the world as loving mothers who have its welfare at heart.

The Assembly has drawn over 150 participants from the nine (9) Member Counties of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia s of the ACWECA Region. Key among the participants are the Council of Delegates comprising Superiors general, Country Delegates, Provincial superiors, and regional superiors who have voting powers.

Other participants present included donors/partners of ACWECA, and chief among them were representatives from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, International Union of Superiors General, Hilton Foundation, Hilton Fund for Sisters, Association of Member Episcopal Conferences (AMECEA) among others. Also in attendance are representatives from Nigeria Conference of Women Religious as well as a representative of Religious from Zimbabwe.