Clearly the crowning accomplishment of McCauley's tenure as AMECEA chairman was the creation of the Gaba Pastoral Institute.
McCauley's association with AMECEA transitioned in 1973 with his appointment as secretary general.
The theme of the 1973 plenary session, "Planning for the Church in Africa in the 1980s," illustrated where McCauley hoped to take AMECEA in the immediate future.
The project's importance became evident in 1977, when a new department of religious education, headed by Christian Brother Richard Kiley, was added to the AMECEA organization.
In August 1979 Vincent McCauley stepped aside as secretary general of AMECEA and was replaced by his chosen protege, Father Joseph Mukwaya of Uganda.
After the work of various committees concluded that the project was viable, AMECEA took responsibility for the effort, placing McCauley, with his vast previous experience as a fund-raiser, in charge of the development efforts.
1, AMECEA Secretariat Correspondence (misfiled), ADFP.
5, AMECEA Correspondence; Regulations of the UEC Secretariat, September 15, 1969, 210, UEC Regulations and Statutes; Meeting Minutes Uganda Episcopal Conference, October 21, 1970, 202.
AMECEA History, Archives Association of Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (hereafter AAMECEA), Nairobi, Kenya.
The decision of the AMECEA Bishops to launch a pastoral and catechetical institute was a deliberate attempt to meet the needs made more urgent by the context described above: the need to bring to grass-root level the doctrinal and pastoral renewal of Vatican II; the need to help pastoral workers to update themselves in the field of catechetical and pastoral work; the need for personal renewal.
Considering its status as a tool for implementing Vatican II, the Pastoral Institute owed its establishment and existence to the bishops of AMECEA.
AMECEA has developed an admirable profile in the African church in the area of regional ecclesiastical collaboration.