Though outwardly seemingly unremarkable, the village of Khushpur is sometimes jokingly described as “Pakistan‘s Vatican.” It can be seen as the heart of the Catholic Church in Pakistan, given that this one Catholic parish 2 bishops, over 35 priests, more than 100 religious Sisters and a considerable number of religious Brothers have emerged. Also in Khushpur is the National Formation Center for Catechists, where catechists from all over the country receive their training.
Another famous son of Khushpur was the late Minorities‘ Minister of Pakistan, Shabaz Bhatti, a profoundly faithful Catholic who stood up against the country‘s infamous blasphemy laws and also defended Asia Bibi. In March 2011, he was gunned down by extremists on his way to work. He knew very well that his life was in danger, but nevertheless he was willing to die for Christ if need be.
The small town of Khushpur, with its population of almost 8,000 Catholics, lies some 25 miles south of the city of Faisalabad and is the largest almost entirely Catholic village in the entire “Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” where for the most part Christians make up only a vanishingly small minority and constantly have to contend with discrimination, obstruction and outright violence.
The parish is an exceptionally lively one, and the many vocations that emerge from this community speak for themselves. Catholic feasts and festivals are celebrated with great solemnity, especially the feast of Christ the King, which is marked with a procession lasting many hours. The people are rock-solid in their faith and live the liturgical year of the Church with great intensity. The importance of prayer and the Sacraments is a daily reality for them.
A good vehicle is an essential part of the pastoral care of the parish. It covers a large area, and the priests and catechists have to minister to all the scattered faithful. There are sick people to visit and Mass to be celebrated in the remotest corners of the parish, and there are also many ongoing pastoral activities for which some means of transport is an urgent necessity.
We are therefore proposing to give them $8,000 so that they can purchase a vehicle for the pastoral work of the parish.
Will you help us fulfill this promise so that the parish can purchase a vehicle and properly minister to the faithful in “Pakistan‘s Vatican?”
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