Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Australia are making an effort to provide support, solidarity, encouragement, and prayer for the Catholics in Pakistan. For years now, they have been working on projects in the areas of education and solidarity for the community in Pakistan.
PMS of Australia has heightened its effort at a time in which growing social tensions are being perceived in Pakistan: the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team has brought attention to the danger of terrorism, the weak policies of President Zardari are preparing the ground for further social instability, and the strengthening of the Pakistani Taliban in the north is creating serious difficulties for Christian religious minorities.
“We will continue doing all we can to support the small Catholic community in Pakistan, which has nearly 1.3 million faithful living in a population of 163 million inhabitants, affirmed Martin Teulan, lay National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia. “We know that our support can make a difference, especially for the children,” he added.
The Australian faithful are also showing their encouragement and are praying for the Catholics of Pakistan, as they are spiritually close to them, sharing in their sufferings.
The PMS is currently active in supporting various projects in Pakistan, in the areas of education and healthcare. Here is a list of what they are providing: medical expenses for 42 children at the Miss Haq Home for Crippled Children run by the Dominican sisters of St Catherine of Siena in Faisalabad; education and healthcare for 50 orphaned, rural children attending St Pius Girls’ Hostel run by the Dominican sisters of St Catherine of Siena in Chak Jhumra;uniforms and library materials for 206 children of poor families at St Josephs School, Quetta, run by the same sisters; Education and spiritual formation for 40 disadvantaged, rural children at La Salle Boys’ Home run by the La Salle Brothers in Khushpur; a Christian education for 200 disadvantaged children at St Isidore Elementary School run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus in Padri-Jo-Goth; a secondary, Christian education for 50 poor children at St Catherine Boarding School run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Lalkurti; classroom materials and toilets for six village primary schools run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to serve 650 children in Derekabad; medicine and educational materials for 110 children at St Joseph’s Orphanage in Khanewal. The PMS has also supported education for 250 children at Bishop John Joseph School in Yuhannabad. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 5/3/2009)