» 06/28/2012, 00.00
PAKISTAN - IRELAND
Missionary in Pakistan: forming the laity in the Church and promoting Christian media
For 30 years in the Asian country, Fr. Joyce speaks of the everyday challenges: promoting the faith and helping the growth of the nation. Growing pastoral work, despite the local and global Islamic fanaticism. He calls for greater efforts in interreligious dialogue. The potential of radio and TV.
- The formation of the laity is "important" as is "their
involvement" in the life of the Church and society in Pakistan. To achieve this goal all available resources must
be employed including "institutes dedicated to pastoral work", says Fr. Joseph
(Joe) Joyce, an Irish priest of the Society of St. Columban for Foreign
Missions. In the Asian country since
September 1982, he summarizes the challenges facing Catholics today and the
answers to promoting the faith and contributing to the growth of the nation. To
this ends he tells AsiaNew that the
role of the media must be exploited within society and in particular the
potential offered by television and radio. "Something
is happening - adds the missionary - but much more can and must do" in
a native of County Offaly, has worked in the past 30 years in parishes in
Sheikupura, Matli, houses of formation for nuns and novices, and the minor
seminary of St. Mary and St. Francis Xavier. The
Irish missionary has also worked in the Philippines in the Colomban monastery
for spiritual formation and has acquired experience in South America (Peru and
Chile) and the United States.
the growth of Islamic fanaticism, locally and globally, Fr. Joyce
explains that "the pastoral work continues," and has led to the
emergence of new areas, of parishes as well as ordinations and professions of
religious vows. He
speaks of a church that works and grows, reserving a special mention to the
" Franciscan territories of Lahore that have opened houses and communities
in the diocese of Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. He
therefore calls for a greater effort - and of important realities such as the
National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) - in the fields of ecology and
protection of creation, but also work in favor of interreligious dialogue that must
take place not only at a high level with prominent personalities, but at the
grass roots level among all levels of the population.
with strengthening education and improving the school system, the Irish
missionary stresses the essential role - today - covered by the media in
particular television and radio, the protagonists of the Christian message, a
major factor in meeting and discussion. In
this regard, Fr. Joyce
remembers the transmission of radio programs that promote cultural exchange and
dialogue with Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and others, from which "we have had a
positive response from listeners and government media." These
include programs devoted to education, to rules and laws, women rights, ecology
issues and motherhood.
enormous potential offered by television is also another area to be further
particular, explains the priest of the Society of St. Columban, the Catholic TV
broadcasts raises issues similar to those already proposed in the radio and
that may contribute to the formation, through the services of priests and nuns:
"the structure is being developed - adds Fr. Joyce
- and the staff is finalizing training and almost ready for their prime time on
he concludes, "they can still learn much from the foreign staff" who
work within the realities of the media.
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