ASIA/PAKISTAN - On the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Archdiocese of Karachi: laying the foundation stone for a new church

Saturday, 3 February 2024 local churches  

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - In the area of Safoora Goth, a district in the eastern part of the metropolis of Karachi, capital of the Sindh province, in southern Pakistan, the number of Catholics has increased and the families of the district have expressed the desire to have their own church . Thanks to the efforts of Father Anthony Abraz and the support of Archbishop Benny Mario Travas, a plot of land was acquired on which, after approval from the civil authorities, the new church dedicated to St. John the Baptist will be built. Archbishop Benny Mario Travas of Karachi presided over the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a place of worship that is currently under construction and will be completed and inaugurated in the coming months. After a prayer, the Archbishop praised and thanked the community of faithful gathered for the start of construction and emphasized the importance of "building this place of worship in order to invoke God's blessing through prayer and the Eucharist." At the same time, he emphasized that "the Church must be built of living stones, of people who witness and proclaim Jesus Christ in their everyday lives." At the ceremonial start of construction, Archbishop Travas symbolically used a pickaxe for the first excavation to lay the foundation stone and then unveiled the poster with the plan of the new church, in which all the faithful undertake to participate in the construction. In the previous days, the Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan, Archbishop Germano Penemote, had paid a pastoral visit to the faithful in Karachi, focusing particularly on young people (e.g. at a meeting with members of the "Jesus Youth" movement), and words of encouragement regarding the crucial role of young people in the Church. Finally he met with the religious in a very fruitful moment of spiritual exchange. The Nuncio also took part in a meeting focused on environmental sustainability and the planting of trees in St. Patrick's Cathedral, a symbolic initiative to underline the importance of environmental awareness, inspired by the encyclical "Laudato si'". The interreligious aspect was also not neglected: the meetings were dedicated to promoting interreligious harmony and understanding in order to promote unity, peace and coexistence. Both initiatives took place as part of the "Diamond Jubilee" to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Karachi, which took place in 1948, while the parish was elevated to the rank of an archdiocese in 1950. In the anniversary year, events, meetings and anniversary celebrations are planned in all parishes. A "season of joy and grace" that began in May 2023 and will last until May 2024. Today, the Archdiocese of Karachi, with a population of 22 million, has about 189,000 Catholics, 58 priests (including diocesan and religious) and more than 160 religious sisters working in schools, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions. The local church has also founded a female order, the "Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King" (FMCK) which has founded schools, orphanages, homes for the elderly and disabled and hospitals throughout the country, (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 3/2/2024)