Through her lay members, the Church is present and active in the world. Lay people have an important role to play in the Church and in society. To enable them properly to take up this role, it is fi tting that centres of biblical, spiritual, liturgical and pastoral formation be organized in the dioceses. It is my heartfelt desire that lay people with responsibility in the political, economic and social fi elds be equipped with a solid knowledge of the Church’s social doctrine, which can provide them with principles for acting in conformity with the Gospel.
This booklet is based on materials presented at successful conferences held in Malawi, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Most of the articles inform us about the history, form and level of development of Catholic professional groups in the countries of eastern and southern Africa where AFCAST operates. A few others get into some preliminary discussions about the nature of Catholic Social Teaching and how it can lead practitioners to make contributions in social transformation.While it is encouraging that the Church recognizes the role that some individual Catholic professionals are contributing to the Church and society, a lot more is expected and much more can be contributed by Catholic professionals.
Dadirai Miriam Chikwekwete is the Regional Administrator for AFCAST. She holds an MBA (South Africa) and a B.Ed. (Zimbabwe).
Fr Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ, is the Regional Co-ordinator of AFCAST and Director of the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. (UK) and an MA (USA).