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» 07/07/2012
PAKISTAN - SYRIA
Lahore: Sisters of Charity giving a future to children and drug addicts
by Jibran Khan
Since their arrival, in 1982, they have emphasized religious education, promoted pastoral care such as a home for the disabled and care for drug addicts. Minimum fees or free education in schools for children of poor families. Regional Superior invites priests to strengthen the teaching of catechism.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Enhancing education among young people, promoting pastoral care, helping addicts and caring for the disabled and marginalized by society. These are just some of the many activities undertaken over the years by the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide Thouret (Sdc), who first arrived in Pakistan in 1982 under the guidance of Sr. Anna Sammut. The nuns have chosen Lahore (Punjab) as a base, working initially to encourage study and education among the poor children of Shahdara Bagh, a suburb north of the town, on the north bank of the river Ravi. To tell AsiaNews about their work today is Sister Hend Salloum, the first regional superior of Sdc in Pakistan. She arrived in 2001 from Damascus, in Syria, and had previously worked in Lebanon, Egypt, India and the island of Malta.

Through education, said the nun, even children born into poor families can earn their own place in the home and in society. To achieve the goal is important to promote the work of ministry, which encourages the full development of children. After years I parents themselves began to understand the importance of studying and "making every effort" to enable children to study. And in Shahdara, where they founded the first center, the sisters have set up relief and aid centre for families, so all children have access and the right to education.

Sister Hend Salloum explains the work of women religious in Lahore, in the field of pastoral care and education, combined with the management of a center for mentally disabled - a home to women and children - called Dar-ul-Krishma and located in the suburb of Youhanabad. For families who do not have sufficient resources to send their children to school, she adds, we guarantee a free education, or just ask for a minimum fee. "Schools - says Sr Hend - are very helpful for the local Church in Pakistan."

In Faisalabad, however, there is a center for drug addicts where meetings and initiatives for women and girls with drug problems are organized. Some of them are also provided with accommodation and the opportunity to continue their studies, to try to build a better life. At Baji Mariam, the name of the institution founded by a missionary originally from Malta, a hundred girls are cared for - there were originally only twenty - thanks to the dedication of the nuns and their collaborators. Often, police bring the girls to the sisters, not knowing who to entrust them to. And the priests, in case of need, know they can count on the diligent work of the Sisters of Charity.

But the central point, says Sister Hend Salloum, revolves around the religious education of the people, which is why she is launching a call for priests and religious, to become "more passionate" and vigorous in their pastoral work and teaching of the catechism.

 


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See also
12/15/2009 BANGLADESH
Dhaka: at Christmas the sisters of Mother Teresa, close to poor Muslims and Hindus
by William Gomes
01/07/2012 BANGLADESH
Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, 150 years among women in Bangladesh
by Sumon Francis Gomes
05/04/2006 VIETNAM
Dominican Sisters among the poor in a society drawn to consumerism
by Thanh Thao
03/07/2005 PAKISTAN – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Education as a weapon to boost women's dignity
12/24/2009 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka: Sisters of the Good Shepherd celebrate Christmas with the poorest children
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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