“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change” (Laudato Si’ 13).
In living the appeal by Pope Francis I “to bring the whole human family together”, the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) has been working to draw more people of diverse ages and cultures to the rallying call of the Holy Father. Accompanied by CYNESA’s advisor, Fr. Dr. Charles Odira Kwanya, a team of three from CYNESA recently paid a courtesy call to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Homabay, His Lordship Bishop Phillip Anyolo at his office in Homabay on Monday 30th July 2018. The rationale for the courtesy call was to introduce His Lordship to CYNESA and the work of drawing more people towards responding to the call of the Holy Father as conveyed through Laudato Si.
During the deliberation, our Board Member, Hellen Mugo briefed Bishop Anyolo about the work and mission of CYNESA including our presence in the various countries and dioceses in Kenya. Impressed by the commitment shown by CYNESA, Bishop Anyolo took special interest in the approach that CYNESA has been taking of using Laudato Si’ as the blueprint for accomplishing our mission. “The work you are doing is very important… I encourage you to carry on with this good work…”, said Bishop Anyolo. Although the courtesy call was meant to be a walk-in-walk-out type of meeting since there was no formal appointment, it lasted long enough to discuss the projects that CYNESA was currently undertaking.
David briefed the Bishop about the projects CYNESA is undertaking and paid emphasis on Youth, Laudato Si, and Wildlife Conservation, which is about placing Laudato Si’ at the heart of wildlife conservation activities: education, advocacy, communication and action, among young people and local faith communities in Africa. Bishop Anyolo was glad to hear that it is on the basis of this project that CYNESA will be working with the young people of Emmaus Catholic Parish, Rongo to advocate for wildlife conservation and promote Laudato Si’ through creative arts including skits, choral verses and songs based on the project theme.
Bishop Anyolo also extended an invitation to CYNESA to continue involving as many members of the clergy as is humanly possible towards conserving God’s creation. The Bishop urged the CYNESA team to continue reminding the clergy about their role in living Laudato Si’ and encouraging their congregations to ensure that everyone makes their contribution towards caring for creation. On behalf of CYNESA, David, Hellen, and Celestine accepted the challenge to continue championing ecological conversion among the clergy, the lay, and “every person living on this planet” as Pope Francis would have us do (Laudato Si’ 3).
David is the CYNESA Programs Manager.