Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "Young people are 60% of the Pakistani population. This data is very important for us Catholics. For our young Catholics, the priority is to make sure that they can grow in faith in Christ and that they have access to quality education and continue to the highest level which is university: that is why we are very committed and we will continue our commitment: it is the key factor for their future": this is what the Archbishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Mgr. Joseph Arshad, President of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan said, who led a delegation of 5 Bishops from Pakistan on their ad limina apostolorum visit.
Mgr. Arshad said he shared this vitality of the Pakistani Church during the meeting with Pope Francis: "It was a very fruitful meeting, we felt welcomed in a sincere dialogue among brothers. We spoke about Pakistan, the Church and our young people, pointing out that there are so many vocations to priesthood and consecrated life. This encourages us and makes us hope for a rosy future for the Catholic Church in Pakistan. They are a seed of hope even in difficulties, which do not discourage us, but today strengthen our faith".
In view of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to young people, Arshad continues, "we have set up an hoc commission and the activities of youth pastoral are in full swing in the dioceses. In Faisalabad we organized the 'peregrinatio' of a Crucifix among the different parishes and in April we will have a youth gathering with over a thousand people from all over the territory".
From the meeting with Pope Francis and after this ad limina visit, concludes the Archbishop, "we have a certainty: the Pope loves us, loves his little flock of faithful in Pakistan and prays for us. We are close to him and support him in his ministry. If God wants, we told him that we would like to have him in our land one day.
We return to Pakistan encouraged, renewed, filled with new spiritual energies and new grace of God, to continue our service to the community of the baptized". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 17/3/2018)