On Saturday 1 July 2023 Pope Francis appointed Salesian Martín Lasarte Topolansky, S.D.B., former Superior of the Angola Vice-Province, as the new bishop of Lwena Diocese in Angola.
Fr Martín Lasarte Topolanski was born on 25 October 1962 in Montevideo, Uruguay; he entered the Salesian Novitiate at Manga in Montevideo on 1 February 1981, professed his first vows as a religious on 31 January 1982 and his perpetual vows on 31 January 1986.
The bishop-elect has held a number of posts and undertaken further studies: specialisation in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (1991-1995), formator at the Salesian Seminary and lecturer at the Major Seminary in Luanda (1995-2001); parish priest of São Pedro and São Paulo parish in Lwena and a member of the Mamã Muxima Vice-Province Council for Angola (2001-2008). He has been the Salesian Youth Ministry Delegate for Angola, lecturer at the Major Seminary in Luanda, the Catholic University of Angola and the Dom Bosco Higher Institute, Luanda. He was director of a Department at the Universidade Católica of Angola (2009-2015); Vice-Superior of the Mamã Muxima Vice-Province of Angola (2013-2015); collaborator of the Missions Department at the Salesians of Don Bosco General House (2015-2020).
On 19 December 2019, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, with the consent of his General Council, appointed Fr Martín Lasarte Topolanski as Superior of the Angola Vice-Province for the 2020-2026 six-year period. Due to the Covid-19 panedemic, Fr Martín Lasarte took up this office on 21 October 2020, succeeding Fr Victor Luiz Gutierrez Sequeira.
Fr Martín Lasarte Topolanski will be the 5th Bishop of Lwena Diocese (Moxico), succeeding Bishop Tirso Jesus Blanco (2008-2022). On behalf of the IMBISA Region we wish Bishop-elect Martín Lasarte many blessings and fruitful pastoral work in the Lwena Diocese.