Construction of a Church in Pakistan
Thanks to the generosity of ACN’s donors, the Catholics of Hasilpur are overjoyed, for
they now have a new parish church.
Hasilpur, in the Diocese of Multan, is not far from the Indian border. When the new nation of Pakistan was born in the year 1947, many Indians came over the new border to live here. Today there are 300 Catholic families living here, most of them extremely poor and earning a precarious living as day laborers. For many years the Catholic faithful here longed for a solid church of their own, since the old mud brick chapel where they used to pray together was built back in 1950
and had been badly damaged by the years of heavy rainfall. In 2005, the authorities banned all further use of the building, since it was in imminent danger of collapsing. As a result, the people were obliged to gather out in the open, every Sunday and every Tuesday, for Holy Mass. But the summers here are extremely hot, and the winters can be very cold. And so, on their own
initiative, they began to build a new church.
Sadly, following the catastrophic flooding of 2010, building materials became prohibitively expensive, since people were striving to rebuild their ruined buildings. Finally the parishioners turned to ACN for help. Now their parish church is finished!
There is also another reason for their joy: This year one of their own, a young man from Hasilpur by the name of Benjamin, was ordained to the priesthood. The Diocese of Multan covers an area of over 38,000 square miles, making it larger than Maine; yet it has just 15 diocesan priests.
The parish priest in Hasilpur has to minister to 3 parishes, and the distances are considerable. Yet he manages to celebrate Holy Mass every Sunday and every Tuesday in all three parishes.
After Mass, which is always well attended, many of the faithful stay on to pray at the Shrine of Our Lady situated in the church grounds. Devotion to the Mother of God is deeply rooted here, and almost every church in Pakistan has a Marian shrine in its grounds where many of the faithful, especially the women and children, stand deep in prayer, both before and after Holy Mass. The grotto of Our Lady belonging to the new church which ACN supported is adorned with a
yellow and white Vatican flag, a visible symbol that even here in Hasilpur the people feel themselves a part of the worldwide Catholic Church.
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral needs that ACN witnesses.