ASIA/NEPAL - Although still traumatised and suffering orphans, former child soldiers and street children cared for in Catholic institutions offer special prayers for the Pope

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Kathmandu (Fides Service) - The people of Nepal are traumatised by years of guerrilla warfare, the rebels are still strong and control various parts of the country. What is more the nation is still recovering from the last political shock in early February when King Gyanendra dismissed the government, took power and declared a state of emergency. For nine years rebels have fought the monarchy to install a communist regime and at least 11,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Recent attempts to mediate and start negotiations failed.
However Catholics in Nepal are not letting concern for the situation keep them from praying for Pope John Paul II in hospital. “We try to keep track of developments in the Pope’s health with the help of television and the Internet and to inform the faithful. The Catholic community here started praying for the Pope since he was admitted to hospital the first time in early February. We pray particularly during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament organised more frequently in this Year of the Eucharist. We have a Holy Hour in the evenings after work and special prayers are said for peace in the country and in the world and for the health of the Pope. We entrust his life to God”, Father Pius Perumana Pro-Prefect Apostolic of Nepal told Fides
Fr. Perumana also said Catholic religious Sisters in Nepal working in schools and orphanages lead school children, orphans, rescued street children and child soldiers in special prayers for the Holy Father.“We know that God listens to the prayers of the little ones, the humble and the innocent. We pray he will leave Pope John Paul II with us for some time yet, he is our spiritual leader” he said.
In Nepal, where there are 7.500 Catholics, the local Catholic Church runs 23 schools attended by many non Christians and thanks to funds sent from abroad it also manages to provide free education for poor children.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 2/03/2005 Righe: 21 Parole: 211)