Catholics in Pakistan
Archdiocese of Lahore

Rev. Fr. Francis Nadeem O.F.M. Cap.laid to rest

Contribution: Asif Nazir, Suzanna Joseph & Marian Sharaf Joseph

Lahore: Superior of the Capuchin order in Pakistan, Rev. Fr. Francis Nadeem was laid to rest today on July 04, 2020 at the historic Gora graveyard.

The Requiem Mass, held today at The Sacred Heart Cathedral this morning, was presided over by the Archbishop of Lahore His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw. He was assisted by Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad-Rawalpindi diocese and Bishop Indriyas Rehmat of Faisalabad.

A large number of priests from across Pakistan concelebrant in the requiem Mass. Other missionaries, including nuns, as well as pastors joined in to bid him farewell.

The first reading, at the requiem Mass of Fr. Nadeem, was from the Book of Wisdom 3:1-09 while the second reading was from Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Gospel Reading was read by Rev. Fr. Francis Sabir O.F.M. Cap. from the Gospel of St. John 11:17-27.

In his homily Rev. Fr. Morris Jalal O.F.M. Cap., a class fellow of Fr. Francis Nadeem said, “Fr. Nadeem served in multiple ministries and we were often worked together. He was a noble personality, a beloved friend and a dear brother. My deepest sympathies for his family, friends and all those close to him,” he continued adding, “We as mortal beings often have our weaknesses but my friend was a flawless human being. Everyone present here today, and all the tweets on social media, reflect that a National Hero has departed. He always connected closely with everyone and worked to ease the troubles of others. He was a well-known leader for all Pakistanis working rigorously for peaceful coexistence so to minimize religious differences.”

“Today not only the Christian community grieves the loss of such a treasure but also the Sikhs and Muslims. We all salute his service as he became the foundation of love, peace and brotherhood through interfaith dialogue. It is God’s promise to one day exchange the old rugged cross for a crown. Fr. Francis Nadeem you remain alive in us”, he concluded.

Archbishop Sebastian, prior to performing the final funeral rites of Fr. Francis Nadeem, lauded his contribution in promoting dialogue and peace among various religious communities across Pakistan.The Archbishop said, “Today, with immense grief we bid a final farewell to Fr. Francis Nadeem. He was a wonderful human being and a minister who worked tirelessly for the betterment of everyone regardless of race, belief and colour.”
“His most prominent contribution was towards promoting interfaith dialogue making it his primary goal in life. His name is like a star brightly outshining all others. Let us thank God for all his accomplishments and that we may, too, be able to imitate his passion in life,”he stated.

Archbishop Joseph Arshad, reminiscing past memories, grieved over his demise stating his death is a great loss for the entire community, which was associated with him through his works.
“I offer my heartiest condolences to all of you present here today, and I pray that may God comfort all of us as we grieve the death of Fr. Francis Nadeem. I have known Fr. Francis Nadeem for a long time since I have worked very closely with the Capuchin Friars. He was an exemplary minister. I ask you all to follow his footsteps. May God grant him a place in Heaven,” he commented.

Furthermore, Bishop Indriyas reflected upon his contribution towards empowering the youth and aspiring talent through his literary works. He said, “Fr. Francis Nadeem dedicated his entire life contributing to interreligious faith involving all religions – a commendable service.”

Fr. Francis Sabir on behalf of the Capuchin community in Pakistan said, “It is with deep sadness we mourn the death of our beloved brother Fr. Francis Nadeem. When someone dies, we spontaneously think of all that this person has done and of the home we had with him. He was always concerned about the unity and cooperation between the brothers, for which we are very grateful. We all offer our sincere condolences to the family of Fr. Francis Nadeem.”
Condolences by the superior of Capuchin order in Belgium, and those sent by many others from Pakistan and abroad, were also read out by Fr. Francis Sabir.

The government awarded the prestigious Tamgha-e-Imtiaz twice to Fr. Francis Nadeem on the Independence Day in the year 2000 and then in 2006 for his outstanding services towards the nation.

Father Francis Nadeem was editor-in-chief of Catholic Naqib in 1989. Additionally, he served as Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) of Pakistan’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference (PCBC).

Fr. Francis Nadeem was on dialysis since recent few months. On the evening of July 03, 2020 he suffered a minor heart attack and passed away on the way to hospital.

Fr. Francis Nadeem was, as the tribute by Capuchins on his coffin read, ‘A Man of Dialogue and Peace.’

Rev. Fr Abid Habib is now serving as the Acting Superior of Capuchins till the election chapter in October this year.

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