Karachi celebrates 75 years of its archdiocese. Archbishop Travas: ‘A new heart for all’

On the solemnity of Pentecost the Diamond Jubilee celebrations began. The archbishop warned: “We have always worked not for our own benefit, but for the development and progress of the entire country. Let us not look outside to condemn and belittle others, but let us renew ourselves by putting the face of Jesus in the center.”

Karachi () – With a solemn Eucharistic celebration on the esplanade of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, presided over by Archbishop Benny Mario Travas, the Catholic Church of Karachi began the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on the solemnity of Pentecost , on the 75th anniversary of its foundation. Thousands of people from all walks of life – together with Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop Emeritus of Karachi, the bishops of Pakistan’s other dioceses, priests and nuns – gathered to celebrate and pray for the archdiocese, enlivening the celebration with songs, hymns and prayers Pope Francis also sent a greeting message to the archdiocese for the occasion.

With the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Diocese of Karachi was separated from the Archdiocese of Bombay and became an independent entity on May 28, 1948. On July 15, 1950, it was raised to the rank of Archdiocese. In these 75 years, the Catholic community has grown together with the city and today it has 15 parishes serving a metropolis that already has more than 22 million inhabitants.

Along with its pastoral service, the Catholic Church in Karachi has played a vital and significant role in the metropolis and in the development of Pakistan, especially in the field of education and health. Since its creation, it has founded 62 new schools where generations of personalities from the Catholic community, but also from Pakistani society as a whole, were trained. Holy Family Hospital (established in 1948) is one of the oldest hospitals providing medical care to the people of Karachi. Without forgetting Darul Sukun the “House of Peace” founded in 1969 to welcome children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, and men and women in conditions of poverty or other needs. There is also the Marie Adelaide Center for Lepers, which since 1956 offers treatment for leprosy and a free rehabilitation center for patients.

“Reflect, rejoice and renew” is the motto chosen for the celebrations that will last a whole year. It is an invitation – explained the Vicar General, Fr. Edward Joseph – to give thanks for the path traveled but also to “continue to work for the diocese with joy, regardless of the circumstances, because our hope is in the Lord”. “Let us ask God to give us a new heart and a new spirit,” said Monsignor Travas in his homily, and also invited people to ask the Lord for forgiveness and to forgive each other for the mistakes made in these 75 years.

“The Archdiocese – Msgr. Travas recalled – has always welcomed all the ethnic groups that come to the diocese, demonstrating their love for diversity and acceptance of others. Catholic means universal; the heart of the Archdiocese of Karachi has been the heart of those who suffer; The diocese, thanks to the work of its local and foreign missionaries, has created many institutions for the care of those who suffer in society, such as orphans, lepers, the physically and mentally disabled, drug addicts, etc. The diocese has not worked for its own benefit, but for the development and progress of the entire country.”

But the present time also calls the Church of Karachi to new challenges. “Let us not look outside to condemn and belittle others – the archbishop continued – but let us look within ourselves to show love and compassion. If we really want to bring new positive changes to our diocese, we must put the face of Jesus at the center, because He is the only one who can guide us.”

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