ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian Brothers celebrate 50 years in Pakistan, where their schools work to form the nation's leaders
Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) – It is a religious family that focuses mainly on the mission of education. In Pakistan, the Brothers of La Salle (Christian Brothers) are celebrating their 50th anniversary in the country and are looking back to give thanks to God for the fruits they have seen over these years.
As Brother Shahzad Gill, Superior of the Pakistan Province, observes: “the spirit and charism of the Christian Brothers is evident and it leads us to carry on with faith towards the future.” “The results of our schools in the academic field and in extra-curricular activities are a testimony to this fact. All our work has been possible thanks to the great courage of those first Brothers who began the mission in Pakistan, and their great faith in God.”
Brother Shahzad thanked all the religious and laity who have spent years of their lives in Pakistan, in an effort to carry out educational programs and mentioned that the schools are known for their high quality and are also appreciated by many Muslim families.
Many political figures, members of Parliament, and even the present Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, studied in Christian Brother schools. It is an education based on the values of respect for others, rights, freedom, and individual responsibility, which helps to form leaders who are now guiding the nation and can place what they have received at the service of the nation.
The spirit of Jean Baptiste de La Salle, father and founder of the Congregation, continues to live on in the nation, manifesting the mission of the Church in education, open to children of all religions.
The objective of the institute, founded in the 18th century, is to “offer a human and Christian education to the youth, especially the poor, in accord with the ministry entrusted by the Church.” Today, the Christian Brothers' schools are in all the main cities of Pakistan (Multa, Faislabad, Karachi, etc.) and help to spread appreciation and esteem for Catholic schools and for the entire Church.
Today, with over 73,000 lay teachers, the Brothers have a total of nearly 900,000 students in 85 different countries. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 5/2/2009)
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