Uruguayan-born Salesian Priest Appointed Bishop in Angola

Mons. Martín Lasarte Topolansky, a native of Uruguay and member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) appointed Bishop for Lwena Diocese in Angola. Credit: CEAST

Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Martín Lasarte Topolansky, a native of Uruguay and member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) as the new Bishop for Lwena Diocese in Angola.

The appointment of Mons. Lasarte, who has been serving as the Provincial Superior of SDB members in Angola since October 2020 was made public on July 1, and published by the Holy See Press Office.

The Angolan Diocese has been vacant since February 2022 when Bishop Jesús Tirso Blanco passed on.

Born in October 1962 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Mons. Lasarte was ordained a Salesian Priest in August 1991.

As a Priest, the Bishop-elect has previously served in various positions, including formator at the Salesian Major Seminary of Luanda, and professor at the same institution; Parish Priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish of Lwena Diocese, and advisor to the Mamã Muxima Visitation Sanctuary of Angola.


Mons. Lasarte has also served as delegate for Salesian youth pastoral care in Angola, professor at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Major Seminary in Luanda, the Universidade Católica de Angola, and the Instituto Superior Dom Bosco, Luanda, and director of the department of the Universidade Católica de Angola, and collaborator in the Department for Missions of the General Curia of SDB.

In his message shortly after the appointment of Mons. Lasarte was made public, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) describes the latest administrative changes in Angola as “a moment of praise and joy and openness to mission” in the Southern African nation.

“Welcome to this college of your brothers,” Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba says in his July 1 message to the Bishop-elect.

“You are someone who already knows our Church, who already works with us, already participates in our joys and sorrows, our hopes and despairs, someone who knows well the Diocese of Lwena and I believe that you will be a valuable instrument of evangelization for that territory,” Archbishop Imbamba adds.

When ordained a Bishop, Mons. Lasarte is to serve as the fifth Local Ordinary of the Angolan Diocese that was erected in May 1979. 

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It is part of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Saurimo and has a population of 130,000 Catholics, according to 2021 statistics.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.