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.