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    » 06/26/2012, 00.00


    Karachi: from encounter with Franciscans a vocation to the priesthood

    Joseph Laldin

    It is the story of Asif Shafique, a 27 year old civil engineer, who recently participated in a vocational animation day for the Order. His father, a doctor, often visited the institute to check the health of men. In everyday life, the desire was born in the young man to dedicate his life to others, in prayer and spirituality.

    Karachi (AsiaNews) - "I was impressed with the three values ​​of the Franciscans: poverty, chastity and obedience", says 27 year old Christian Asif Shafique, a civil engineer and physical therapist speaking to AsiaNews about his encounter with the Order and the desire to respond to the call to the priesthood. He recently participated in a day of vocation promotion, organized by the Franciscans in the Archdiocese of Karachi, along with 28 other young people from 22 different parishes. "My family," added the future priest, "is finding it difficult in the current economic crisis, but accepted my decision with great joy." Shafiq adds a note of pride that his parents "have given me their blessing and made the best wishes for my future consecrated life".

    At the end of vocations day, the 27 year-old Pakistani Christian (pictured, in white, middle) says that he was "impressed" by the Franciscan values ​​of "chastity, poverty and obedience," which he observe over the years when he accompanied his father - a doctor - during visits to the headquarters of the Order to ensure the health of men. In the days spent alongside the monks, the young man tells AsiaNews, "I discovered my vocation to the Franciscan life." "The Franciscans attention to the unconditional care for and love of people - Shafiq adds - convinced me to dedicate my life to others." He hopes to serve the sick and needy in the footsteps of St. Francis d 'Assisi.

    Young men of different ages and skills took part in the vocational day promoted in Karachi, united by the desire to discover the meaning of a consecrated life. According to Fr. Victor Savera, a young Franciscan, the event was attended by "young Catholics, non Catholics, nurses, workers, students and civil engineers." The objective of the meeting, added the priest, is to "overcome the shortage of vocations among young Pakistanis", dedicating specific programs targeted at them and "encouraging them to participate in the initiatives of the church", as well as "to use modern technology to bring them closer to Christian faith. "

    Fr. Victor explains that "the financial crisis, the lack of guidance, media and social networks" are the main challenge for "new vocations" and does not hide his disappointment at the average of two new ordinations each year. "The leadership of the Church" he added "needs to focus its efforts on this point."

    At present there are "only" 45 Franciscans throughout Pakistan. Shafiq will be joining them from next September and is currently engaged in studying the life and teachings of St. Francis. "I want to be strong - concludes the novice - in prayer and develop a deeper experience of spirituality."


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    See also

    13/09/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: with Christ, flee from the idols that alienate man
    In front of 300,000 people in the Esplanade des Invalides, Benedict XVI proposes the Eucharist as the way to attain man's true destiny, leaving aside "money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even for knowledge". An invitation to young people to discover their calling, and to follow Christ in the priesthood. This afternoon, the pope goes to Lourdes.

    22/03/2009 VATICAN - AFRICA
    Pope: only the light of God can overcome the great "darkness" cast by war and greed
    During the Mass celebrated in Luanda in front of a million people, Benedict XVI speaks of prayer for reconciliation and peace, which, from Africa, embrace the entire world, and urges men all over the world to pray for "this great Continent so filled with hope, yet so thirsty for justice, for peace, for a sound and integral development that can ensure a future of progress and peace for its people." Commemoration of the two young people who died yesterday in a stampede at the stadium.

    03/10/2005 PAKISTAN
    Young people, come forward and dedicate yourselves to service of the Eucharist

    The archbishop of Lahore launched this appeal yesterday while marking the 50th anniversary of Fr Arnold Stalpaert OFM – the 'lion of Sialkot' – in the priesthood.

    15/12/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: "radical choice" of accepting Christ’s "follow me"
    Benedict XVI's Message for the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Christian communities around the world pray for vocations, strengthened by the hope founded on the "faithfulness of God."

    18/06/2007 VATICAN
    Pope to youth: be, like Francis, in love with Christ and history’s protagonists
    The full version of Benedict XVI’s address to over 25 thousand young people gathered at St. Mary of the Angels.

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