Lahore (AsiaNews) - In Daska, the Christian community joined the celebrations for the 125th Jubilee anniversary of the Archdiocese of Lahore. The members of the congregation welcomed with joy and devotion the apostolic administrator, Mgr Sebastian Francis Shaw, the Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, priests and catechists who led the celebrations. Organised as part of the Jubilee Year, the festivities gave fresh hope and vigour to minority Christians who have been too often victims of violence and persecution. The latest cases include the brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy and the jailing of an 11-year-old disabled girl on blasphemy charges.
The event began with the unveiling of a tableau with a warm welcome. Next, Mgr Shaw, who is auxiliary bishop of Lahore, lighted a large candle and presented it to an elderly member of the community. The latter passed it onto a child in witness of the journey of faith that runs from the old to the young in order to bear new fruit.
A girl then read the story of the Archdiocese of Lahore, especially stressing the contribution to its development made by Capuchin Fathers from Italy.
The Eucharistic service followed, co-celebrated by Bishop Shaw and Frs Bahar Yousaf, Basar Joseph and Younis Hussain. The latter opened the Mass with a welcome address for the service participants and worshippers.
In his homily, Mgr Shaw expressed his appreciation for the solid faith of the community inDaska. He also imparted a solemn blessing for the Jubilee celebrations of the Archdiocese of Lahore, which began last November.
The prelate reminded those present that a Jubilee is a time of "liberation," and an opportunity to "free ourselves from internal and external bondages."
In concluding, he renewed his message of peace and hope, and thanked event organisers for their work.