Planned Ecclesiastical Year in Zambia’s Mansa Diocese to Focus on “Care of Mother Earth”

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The leadership of Mansa Diocese in Zambia has settled on “Care and Protection of Mother Earth” as the theme for the new “ecclesiastical year” set to be launched at the start of the second part of Advent 2022.

In his Sunday, November 27 statement obtained by ACI Africa, the Local Ordinary of the Zambian Diocese says that the theme for the yearlong initiative that will be concluded on 26 November 2023 finds in inspiration in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on the care of our common home, Laudato Si’.

In the statement, Bishop Patrick Chilekwa Chisanga  declares “the Diocesan Year of Care and Protection of Mother Earth, Our Common Home as the Pastoral Theme for this ecclesiastical year to be launched on Saturday, 17th December 2022 at the Diocesan Curia with a procession to the Cathedral for the celebration of the Eucharist.”

Bishop Chisanga adds, “This pastoral theme draws its primary inspiration from the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis (2015) on the Care of Our Common Home, popularly known as Laudato Si'.” 

“As we begin this ecclesiastical year in which our Diocese commits to the Care and Protection of Mother Earth, may God indeed be praised through every element of creation,” he further says in his three-page statement circulated on the First Sunday of Advent 2022.


The Zambian Catholic Bishop says that the theme seeks to promote the common responsibility of caring for God’s creation that Our Father bestowed on humanity following creation as recorded in Genesis.

He adds that the theme aims at enhancing humanity’s responsibility “through sensitization and deliberate action to prevent further degradation of planet earth, our common and only home.”

The member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFM Conv.) makes reference to the Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi, the origin of the phrase “Laudato Si’” and calls for “awareness of intimate connection with the whole created order with God as our common originating source and Father.”

“To view creation only in terms of ecology, nature, botany and biology is to see ourselves apart from God's creation rather than being part of His creation,” he says.

He adds, “It is my hope that the Pastoral Theme I have announced will draw us deeper into fraternal communion with the entire creation and make us more responsible and caring stewards of this God-given gift of a common home-planet Earth.”

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The 51-year-old Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Mansa Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2014 says that the theme needs to be applied practically by planting trees and not cutting them down for charcoal.

He continues, “Throwing garbage, especially plastic materials only in designated places, not wasting water, turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances when not in use” are other ways to put the theme in action.

Bishop Chisanga also says that “using only authorized methods of fishing and allowing for breeding, conservation farming and use of organic rather than chemical fertilizers” will contribute to a safer environment.

The Bishop of Mansa says that Zambia’s Luapula region is one of the regions in the world that has not been spared by the effects of climate change.

“Unpredictable weather patterns such as extremes of temperatures, floods and droughts are becoming a frequent phenomenon every year,” he laments. 


The Local Ordinary of Mansa Diocese says that through joint efforts, the negative trend of Mother Earth can be reversed to her “original beauty and splendor as the haven of peace and tranquility for humanity.”

“Pope Francis reminds us that as stewards of God's creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family,” he says, and adds, “When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our water bodies, we betray that noble calling.”

In his November 27 statement, Bishop Chisanga also reflects on the Ecclesiastical Year he declared that will run till the next solemnity of Christ the King on 26 November 2023, and urges the people of God under his pastoral care to organize study sessions about the Gospel of St. Matthew for spiritual benefits.

“In order to draw the full spiritual benefits of this first Book of the New Testament during the course of this liturgical year, I encourage Small Christian Communities, Lay Movements and families to organize study sessions about this Book,” he explains. 

He adds, “Let individuals take the initiative to do personal research on the Gospel of Matthew. The Pastoral Office, through the Biblical Coordinator, has been asked to facilitate the preparation of study and reflection materials as well as programs for presentation on our radio station.”

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The Zambian Catholic Church leader says that the Liturgical Season of Advent, which serves as the point of entry into the new Ecclesiastical Year, “offers us an opportunity to embark on a new spiritual journey with renewed hope in the Lord who came in the fullness of time, who comes in our everyday experiences and who will come again in glory at the end of time.”

“May God grant everyone a fruitful Advent Season and a Liturgical Year of growth in faith, hope and love of God, other people as well as the entire creation,” Bishop Chisanga says in his November 27 statement.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.