“Season of Creation Documentary”: Church Officials in Malawi Call for Justice for Creation

A poster for the Season of Creation. Credit: JCED Malawi

Catholic Church officials in Malawi have, in a new documentary on the Season of Creation 2023, called for “justice, reconciliation and healing for people affected with climate change.”

In the Monday, September 25 documentary titled, “Faith Voices: Season of Creation 2023”, the Church officials weigh in on this year’s Season of Creation, an ecumenical celebration for prayer and action for the environment.

It is observed from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals and ecology.

“Our faith offers us a theological perspective that present us with a responsibility to care for creation with justice, sanctity of life, and a responsibility to listen and accompany those living in the margins of the society,” the Church officials say.

The National Coordinator for Communications and Social Research at the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Fr. Francis Damaseke, says, “We are called to think deeply about how we are taking care of the environment.”


Fr. Francis Damaseke. Credit: JCED Malawi

Reflecting on this year’s theme of the Season of Creation, “Let justice and peace flow (Amos 5:24),” Fr. Francis Damaseke says, “Justice must flow like a river, because all of us are affected, all of us are threatened by what is happening to nature, by what is happening to the environment.”

Credit: JCED Malawi

“It is not what happens to me or to us that matters. What matters most is how we react,” Fr. Damaseke adds.

The Malawian Catholic Priest goes on to underscore the need for getting involved in environmental conservation at all levels, saying, “As Church people, as religious, we are saying that the care for the environment must be reflected in our liturgy.”

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In the 5-minute documentary, Fr. Damaseke says Catholics need to profess, celebrate and live the Season of Creation.

Credit: JCED Malawi

“We must say it, we must talk about it. We must bring it wherever people are,” he says, and adds, “When we offend each other as human beings, chances are high that we are able to forgive each other. But once we offend nature, nature will not forgive us. Nature will take revenge.”

He reiterates, “If we don't take care of the environment, nature will not forgive us, nature will take revenge. No wonder we are experiencing so many catastrophes. Let us take care of the environment.”

Credit: JCED Malawi


Reflecting on some of the initiatives on the care of creation, Sr. Teresa Mulenga, a member of the Association of Women in Religious Institutes of Malawi (AWRIM) says, “We are working with the Catholic Women Organization nationwide. Our focus in care for the creation is to find alternative sources of energy with women who are the core in use of energy.”

“We are encouraging women to use other sources of energy apart from the use of wood and charcoal,” Sr. Mulenga says. 

Sr. Teresa Mulenga. Credit: JCED Malawi

The Malawian member of the Sisters of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (Teresian Sisters), who also assists in the office of Communication of her Religious Order highlights alternative sources of energy that can be used.

Credit: JCED Malawi

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“We resort to using things like maize stalks, different stems, small stems, and even we use a lot of waste from the field like groundnut shells just to mention a few. From these we are able to make briquettes from leaves, even the shells, and even from grass,” Sr. Mulenga says, adding, “We are doing this deliberately to make sure that we care for mother earth.”

Credit: JCED Malawi

She continues, “We also train the women in making manure so that they refrain from using chemical fertilizers which are very destructive to our mother earth.”

Credit: JCED Malawi

“The women are making their own organic fertilizer and this is what they are using to apply in their gardens,” the Teresian Sister says, and adds, “We are also encouraging them to have backyard gardens where they find food first, but it is also a way of caring for the environment.”

Credit: JCED Malawi

On his part, the Deputy Director of the Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development (JCED) in Malawi makes reference to the second Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis that was published in 2015, Laudato Si’, saying, “Our encounter with  Jesus Christ becomes evident in our relationship with the world around us.”

Credit: JCED Malawi

Br. Reuben Nazombe says that “someone who has encountered Jesus Christ the way they relate with the world around them should be very different,” and adds, “The ecological conversion means that it's a realization that our vocation as protectors of God’s creation is not an option or a secondary choice, but it is a core element of our Christian experience.”

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.