Lahore (AsiaNews) In the wake of the Pope's announcement of the Year of the Eucharist, priests should celebrate the Eucharist with "greater devotion than usual" and should make sure that "worshippers are better aware of what is being celebrated", this according to Mgr Lawrence John Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore. who spoke on the 25th of October, 2004, to priests and religious gathered for the bi-annual Priests' Conference at Dar-ul-Kalam.
Archbishop Saldanha told those present that they should also inform children of the Eucharist's significance even though schools in Pakistan are open on Sunday. "Both informal and formal teaching are fundamental," he said. And a key role in religious education is played by basic Christian communities.
Archbishop Saldanha urged catholic families to help physically and mentally challenged children as well as people living with AIDS and single mothers.
During the clergy's assembly, Fr. Emmanuel Asi, secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, outlined the archdiocese's pastoral plan to the participants. In the first phase, ten per cent of the diocesan population will be consulted from Advent Sunday 2004 till Pentecost Sunday 2005. In the second phase, 350 people representing the whole archdiocese will work on the priorities set by the 35,000 people consulted ending their work on World Mission Day in October 2005. In the third and final phase, 35 people and 10 experts will come up with the final draft. "The work in enormous, but if we want to we can do it," Father Asi said.
The Archdiocese of Lahore is divided into five ecclesiastic districts with 24 parishes: East Lahore, West Lahore, Sheikhupura, Sialkot and Gujranwala. The archdiocese is home to about 560,000 Catholics in a population of 24 million people. It has 47 priests, 29 religious men and 197 religious women. (BI)