Catholics in Pakistan
Archdiocese of Lahore

Consecration and Blessing of St. Joseph’s Parish, Gujranwala

Gujranwala (Asif Nazir/Catholics in Pakistan): On May 1st, 2024, St. Joseph’s Parish in Gujranwala, Pakistan, celebrated a historic milestone with the Consecration and Blessing of their church building. His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM, Archbishop of Lahore, presided over the ceremony, joined by Fr. Francis Gulzar, Parish Priest, and Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz, Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore, as con-celebrants.




The Consecration of St. Joseph’s Parish, Gujranwala, commenced with a traditional warm welcome to Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw and the clergy. The Archbishop, accompanied by Frs. Francis Gulzar, Rafhan Fayyaz, Morris Jalal OFM, and Tariq Isaac, proceeded to St. Joseph’s School ground in a festive procession, seated on a traditional Baggi. The clergy and sisters joined in, and traditional mear dance added to the joyous celebrations. Before the Holy Mass, the Archbishop consecrated the name plate and lock of the church and sprinkled Holy Water on the faithful.

The Holy Mass included readings from 1 Kings, 1 Corinthians, and the Gospel of Matthew, read by Sir Khurram, Ms. Suzanna, and Fr. Morris Jalal OFM Cap, respectively.

Homily

In his homily, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw said that, “Today is a joyful day, a day of great blessing and grace. As we gather here on May 1st, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we are reminded of God’s plan and purpose for our lives”, he continued.

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“In the first reading, King Solomon prayed to God for His people, asking Him to listen to their prayers in the Holy Temple and even to hear those who pray at home, turning their faces towards the temple. Today, we come before God with the same humility and faith, seeking His blessings and solutions to our problems”, he emphasized.

“As we consecrate this church, we are reminded that God invites us to accept others, to forgive our sins, and to pray for our enemies and the clergy. Today, we learn from the life of St. Joseph, who was committed to God and Mother Mary, and who never spoke ill of anyone in his life. Let us strive to follow his example, letting go of personal grudges and embracing love and forgiveness”, he added.

“As we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we are called to emulate his dedication and hard work. Let us pray that we may be blessed with the grace to serve God and others with humility and love. May this church be a place of solace, comfort, and spiritual growth for all who enter. May our prayers be heard, and may we be filled with God’s blessings and peace”, he concluded.




After the homily, the Archbishop consecrated the pillars of the church with Holy oil, assisted by Fr. Francis Gulzar and Fr. Rafan Fayaz. Incense was burnt on the Sacred Altar, followed by the blessing of the Holy Altar, and the presentation of holy cloths and Sacred items by Sr. Sofia and the parishioners.

The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Archbishop along with the clergy, and later the Holy tabernacle was consecrated.

Closing Remarks

In his thanksgiving note, Fr. Francis paid tribute to the laborers who built the church and announced that the church’s anniversary would be celebrated on May 1st. He thanked all who assisted in making the event a success, including the clergy, La Salle Brothers, religious Sisters, and all who contributed to the building of the church.

The Archbishop praised the engineers, architects, priests, and all who contributed to the building of the church. He urged parents to spend time with their children, keep an eye on them, and listen to them. The choir singing was performed by St. Mary’s Convent High School, Gujranwala, under the leadership of Sr. Sofia, the school’s principal.

About St.Joseph’s Parish, Gujranwala

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, one of the oldest mission stations of the Archdiocese of Lahore, was founded in 1953 by Belgian Capuchin missionaries. It is situated approximately 80 km west of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, Pakistan. Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, the foundation stone of the new church was laid on the feast of the Assumption, 15th August 2021, by Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw and Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz. Despite the hurdles, the new church stands today thanks to the unwavering dedication of Fr. Francis Gulzar, the parish priest, and the generous contributions of the local community.

The Consecration and Blessing ceremony marked a significant milestone in the history of St. Joseph’s Parish, Gujranwala, and was a testament to the faith and dedication of the parish community.

Find below the exclusive coverage of the event on our YouTube Channel:

* Highlights of Traditional Welcome: Watch Now

* Homily by Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw: Watch Now

* Rituals of Consecration: Watch Now

* The Eucharist, Prayers, Liturgical Songs: Watch Now

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