By Charles Igwe
Lagos, the bustling commercial hub of Nigeria, is gearing up to welcome Catholic Bishops and communication experts from across Africa for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS).
Scheduled to take place from November 18 to 21, 2023, at the state-of-the-art facilities of Lumen Christi Catholic TV, Retreat, and Media Centre in Lekki, Lagos, the event will see the participation of Bishop Chairmen representing various regions of Africa, the Standing Committee of SECAM (the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), distinguished heads and officials from communication organizations and schools in Africa, as well as esteemed guests from within and outside the African continent.
Established in 1973 by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), CEPACS was entrusted with the task of advancing the use of contemporary mass communication tools as instruments of evangelization in the African Church.
To ensure the smooth execution of this historic 50th celebration, Most Rev. Emmanuel A. Badejo, Bishop of Oyo Diocese and President of CEPACS, has formed a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in Lagos. The committee comprises adept communication experts, including clergy, lay faithful, and other Church officials.
The LOC, chaired by Sir Robert Soji Olagunju, KSG, a Papal Knight and Founder/Chairman of Lumen Christi Catholic Television Network, also includes notable members like Mr. John I. Nejoh as General Secretary, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh (National Director of Social Communications), Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu (Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese), Rev. Fr. Andrew Kante from Kenya, and Rev. Fr. Dieu-Donne Kofi Davor (Director of Communication, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference).
Additionally, the committee boasts a group of dedicated professionals who will play pivotal roles in ensuring the success of the celebration.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) is eagerly anticipating hosting the delegates, which will include esteemed Church officials from Vatican City, Rome.
Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos, has warmly welcomed the decision to hold the significant 50th-anniversary celebration in Lagos Archdiocese. He has extended his full support and encouraged the LOC to deliver their utmost best. The Archbishop has committed to personally welcoming delegates from across Africa to Lagos, Nigeria.
“The choice of Lagos as the venue for their 50th-anniversary celebration fills us with joy. With the dedication of the LOC members and the support of our faithful in the Archdiocese, I am confident that this event will be a resounding success,” stated Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins.
The opening Thanksgiving Mass, to be held at The Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos, will be broadcast live, marking the commencement of this landmark celebration.