The first stone was laid in 2007 by the local parish priest at the time and Card. Joseph Coutts, bishop of the diocese at the time. Thousands of faithful participated in the ceremony, which was also attended by all the children of the Catholic schools. Bishop Indrias Rehmat: “God has given us the courage and resources to complete his house like David and Samuel”.
Okara () – Card. Joseph Coutts, together with Msgr. Indrias Rehmat, bishop of the Faisalabad diocese, last week inaugurated the new St. Anthony Catholic Church in the Okara district, southeast of the city of Lahore. Thousands of faithful, priests and nuns attended the ceremony and participated in the blessing of the building with prayers and religious songs.
The first stone was laid in June 2007 by the parish priest at the time, Fr. James Archangelus, and Card. Coutts, Bishop of Faisalabad at the time. For his part, the construction works were completed under the direction and support of Mons. Rehmat.
During the inauguration ceremony, a solemn mass was celebrated, in which all the children of the Catholic schools of the diocese participated, bringing offerings and singing religious hymns. The residents of the town danced to the rhythm of the drums and admired the beauty of the church, which has a statue of San Antonio installed in the middle of its two main pillars. Even the space in front of the building was packed with worshipers.
“Today is a day of thanksgiving to God because he has given us the courage and the resources to complete His house as David and Samuel did the Temple,” Bishop Indrias Rehmat said. “We also celebrate the feast of Saint Anthony, who is not only the saint of this parish, but also of this town. He is known as the saint of miracles, so let’s pray to him for healing and multiple blessings in our lives. Let’s work together for the development of this parish and invite more people to the house of God”, continued the prelate. “I ask you to become a light to others through your actions and your church. I am very grateful to all the people who have helped us, and especially those who have financially supported the construction of this church. Let’s keep working for His glory and happiness.”
The card. Joseph Coutts added his thanks to Fr. James Archangelus “who laid the foundation stone with me years ago and put his heart into building and beautifying” the church, he said. “Today we can see your efforts and I am really very happy to meet all of you here, in this church that has been finished in so many years. Today I ask you to follow in the footsteps of Saint Anthony, to help the poor and bring happiness and joy to their lives, as he did. This church reminds us to stay in touch with God and the Holy Spirit and always ask for his richest blessings for all. This is the best way to stay united and help each other, sure that our God will always bless us if we work for his happiness and the joy of His people on Earth.”