By Rahab Kuria

SIAYA, MAY 25, 2021 (CISA) – Most Rev. Philip Anyolo, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kisumu and Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has led the Archdiocese of Kisumu in planting 5000 trees to mark the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si’ Pope Francis encyclical on the Care of our Common Home

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Speaking at the event that took place at St. Paul’s Mbaga Catholic Church, Archbishop Anyolo called on each and every one to be a good steward of nature by taking care of what has been given by God.

“…Let’s use nature appropriately since nature becomes and will remain what it is by appreciating what we have. I therefore encourage everyone here to at least plant a tree,” he said on May 19, inviting the County Government and other stakeholders to partner with the Church and take care of the environment by growing more trees.

During the event, the Archbishop also distributed copies of the encyclical Laudato Si’ to the various collaborators of the tree planting exercise to help familiarize them with the message of Pope Francis on environmental conservation. Organisations represented at the event included Kenya Forest Service- Siaya County, County Government of Siaya, World Vision, The Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources and Kenya Girl Guide Association.

Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri and Chairperson of the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate of KCCB also present at the event stressed that everyone should embrace the spirit of the late Prof Wangari Maathai, the late Nobel Laureate who encouraged people to plant trees in their local environments and contributed to the planting of over thirty million trees.

Laudato Si means praise be to the Lord, we are here to sing led by pope Francis who tells us it is a song with many parts of life both living and non-living. I have ideas that I would love to sell to the county, let us look for ways firewood can be used less to save our forests. The commitment start in the hearts and not just in the hands,” he said.

Laudato Si’ is the second encyclical by Pope Francis dated May 24, 2015 and was officially published on June 18, 2015. In the publication, with the subtitle “on care for our common home” the Pope calls on human beings to understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man urging all “to take stock of our present situation and have awareness of our common origin”

Laudato Si’ Week 2021, began on May 16, 2021, and will end on May 25, 2021, which will be the crowning event to celebrate the progress the Church has made on ecological conservation.