1. Introduction

Your Eminences, Your Excellences,

On behalf of the priests working in RECOWA, I send you my greetings of peace and grace from the RECOWA Secretariat, Abuja.

We have just entered a new month. I seize this opportunity to wish you a month of June full of blessings and wonderful encounters in your work of shepherding the flock that the Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to you.

In pursuance of our resolve to keep you abreast with the life of your great Conference, I wish to inform you of the activities that have taken place in the last month and update you with upcoming events.

  • 4D Plan of RECOWA Secretariat Project

We engaged an expert to produce a consolidated 4D plan of the site for the building of the new secretariat in Abuja. The expert has placed each building in its place and designed the interiors of the building.

  • Preparative seminar for the 2nd phase of the synod on synodality

The Secretary-General participated in the preparatory seminar for all African delegates to the synod on synodality which took place in Nairobi (24-26 April). The Secretary General was privileged to be the moderator of the two-day activities which featured presentations from theologians and pastoral experts. The five themes for the next phase of the synod were presented and discussed, namely:  the synodal face of the local Church, the synodal face of the grouping of Churches, the synodal face of the universal Church, the synodal methods, and the synodal Church in mission.

  • Launching of RECOWA Observatory for Peace

The RECOWA Observatory for Peace, a project conceived after the 10th Standing Committee in Conakry was launched in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso from 2-5 June 2024. The program brought together the 1st Vice President of RECOWA Most Rev. Joseph Afrifah-Agyekum, the President of RECOWA Episcopal Commission for Justice, Development and Peace, Most Rev. Andrew Karnley, all the national Directors of Justice and Peace Commissions along with the national Directors of Caritas.

  • Capacity-building training on Advocacy for social and ecological justice

This event which was sponsored by CAFOD will start tomorrow 5 June in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and will last till 8 June 2024. The participants are the Presidents of all the Episcopal Commissions of RECOWA with all the national Directors of Justice and Peace Commissions as well as the national Directors of Caritas.

  • Synodality and review of Ratio Fundamentalis

The PanAfrican Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network requested us to partner with them to facilitate seminar for seminarians and formators on synodality and the ongoing review of the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis that was requested by the synthesis report of the 16th General Assembly of Synod of Bishops on Synodality. In May we were able to give the seminar in two seminaries in Nigeria: Kaduna and Onitsha. We could have done more but the other seminaries that were contacted said that they had entered the end of the year exam period and could not have time for the seminar.

  • Recruitment: 2nd Deputy Secretary General and Communication Officer

We planned to interview for the recruitment of a new 2nd Deputy Secretary General and the Communication Officer, who will finish their second tenure of office next year. We were not able to interview in May as previously planned because we did not get enough candidates for the positions. We sent messages to all the Bishops but the response was not forthcoming. We have made another call for candidates and we have received candidates for communication officer and promises from some conferences for candidates for 2nd Deputy Secretary General. If the promises are fulfilled we shall have the interview this month or latest the first week of July.

  • Appointment of Bishops

In May RECOWA was blessed with the nomination of four new bishops:

S/NNameCountryDioceseDate of appointment
1Most  Rev. Francis BomansaanGhanaBishop of Wa22 May, 2024
2Most Rev. Simon Okezuo NwobiNigeriaBishop of Ahiara3 May, 2024
3Mgr. Ignace Bessi DOGBOCôte d’IvoireArchbishop of Abidjan20 May, 2024
4Mgr. François SYLLAGuineaCoadjutor Archbishop Conakry11 May, 2024
  • Presidential Council

The Presidential Council of RECOWA will be meeting in Agboville, (Côte d’Ivoire) the Diocese of RECOWA President from 24 to26 June to do the half-year evaluation and prepare for the 5th Plenary Assembly of RECOWA which will be held in Dakar, Senegal from 5-12 May 2025.

  1. Conclusion

Your Eminences, your Excellences, we thank you for your support and understanding. Without your support, we cannot function well. That is why we seize this opportunity to remind those who may have forgotten of the normal annual contribution for the support of the secretariat. We promise to do our best to make you proud of RECOWA. We wish you God’s abundant blessings in your work and ministry to the people of God.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu