Priorities for the conference – “Ad Extra”

“Community in service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace”


The SACBC commits itself to working with like-minded groups and individuals with a view to:

  • the development of ethical leadership and responsible citizenship in order to promote the political maturity necessary for the realisation of the common good;
  • using its long experience in education to promote the ongoing development of schooling and education in Southern Africa so that all young people may be given the opportunity to reach their God-given potential;
  • striving for a just economy consistent with Catholic Social Teaching so as to redress the gross inequalities in our society and to promote the full and active participation of all in the economy;
  • fostering the process of healing and reconciliation in response to our painful history and to the prevailing tendency to resort to violence, in order to promote the human dignity of all in Southern Africa;
  • supporting marriage and family life as the foundation of society by affirming the values of dignity, respect, care, and just relationships in the family, and by addressing the forces which diminish and destroy it.



Mindful of the challenge of Africae Munus and the call for a new evangelisation, the Conference recognises the need to deepen the faith and Catholic identity of our people so as to promote a real sense of ownership of the faith and of the Church which will be expressive of its African nature, and commits itself to the following priorities:

  1. With regard to “Religious education and the formation of adults, youth and the family”, the Conference commits itself to:
  1. implementing a vision of the Church as a community of communities with a strong emphasis on developing a sense of belonging and ownership among the people;
  2. focussing on the family as the primary source and locus for developing faith, spirituality and Christian living so that our communities can truly be a leaven in society;
  3. promoting a well-trained and motivated laity who will participate in leading their communities towards self-reliance and to evangelise the socio-economic and political realm;
  4. a catechetical programme which promotes the growth of a personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, reflection on the word of God and the teaching of the Church, including Catholic Social Teaching, and through faith sharing and witness to Christ in parish communities, sodalities, Small Christian Communities and professional bodies, e.g. teachers and nurses.
  1. With regard to “Priests, Seminarians and Vocations”, the Conference commits itself to developing well-formed and zealous priests, informed by a personal experience of Christ, who will promote a culture of self-reliance and ownership among their people, and an awareness of being called to service and mission in the society, by:
  1. forming priests to enable them to implement the various Conference pastoral programmes in order to integrate faith, culture and life;
  2. promoting the ongoing formation of clergy, religious and bishops as a non-negotiable priority, with special attention being given to the needs of priests in their 40s, and to the planning and regular implementation of programmes such as AGROP;
  3. pro-active intervention and ongoing support and care to priests through wellness institutions and other programmes which will facilitate their personal growth and well-being;
  4. fostering the spirit and practice of stewardship among the clergy so as to enable priests to commit themselves to an evangelical lifestyle which witnesses to their people;
  5. promoting vocation discernment and seminary formation through:

5.1  youth and young adult ministry programmes orientated towards developing a sense of calling and service in young people;

5.2  a renewed use of vocation material and discernment  programmes;

5.3  preparation of trained and qualified formators for the seminary;

5.4  seeking to address the challenges in the wide range of candidates   presenting themselves for priesthood.

  1. With regard to “Finances and Accountability”, the Conference commits itself to:
  1. a strategy that will move the local communities from an attitude of dependency towards self-reliance;
  2. forming a small team of experts from different fields to be a resource for dioceses to ensure their financial sustainability, and to offer guidelines for developing a common policy regarding investments, medical aid and pension schemes, and income-generating schemes at diocesan level.