Catholics in Pakistan
Archdiocese of Lahore

“Mother Mary – role model for Christian mothers”

Gujranwala (Asif Nazir): On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, celebrated the Sixth Annual Convention and Coronation of Our Lady. His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Archbishop of Lahore presided over the Holy Mass with Rev. Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz, Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Parish, Gujranwala and other priests from the Archdiocese of Lahore were con-celebrants. In this Annual Convention, a large number of parishioners participated with great devotion, faith and enthusiasm.

Rev. Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz fervently organized the event along with the Pastoral team, management committee, and several groups of Parish. The entire team worked tirelessly under his zealous leadership.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is one of the 30 Parishes of the Archdiocese of Lahore. It is situated approximately 80 kms west of Lahore; the Provincial Capital of Punjab, Pakistan. It is one of the oldest mission stations of the Archdiocese. Founded in 1953, by the great Capuchin missionaries from Belgium. The Parish consists of 350 rural and 30 urban vicinities.

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Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary assisted in the preparation of the Liturgy of the Holy Mass and in decoration of the Holy Altar. While Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of Lahore (FTL) animated the Holy Rosary with acts. The Eucharistic celebration started at 7.00pm as Fr. Rafhan and his pastoral team welcomed His Grace.

In his homily Archbishop said, “God always chooses us to bless us, whether we deserve it or not, he blesses each one. He is our wonderful Counselor. He has given us freedom to choose right or wrong, just as Adam and Eve were given a choice. The choices we make in our lives, define us. Just as Saints are defined by their choice of choosing the path of righteousness”, he continued.

“When the Israelites were led to the Promised Land; God taught them and directed them through His commandments and precepts. Similarly, Mother Mary’s parents groomed and taught her. She in turn taught and formed Jesus with God’s Commandments and ideals. Her only desire and wish was to keep her eyes constantly fixed on God and to do His will. So, God chose her to be the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was for this that she exclaimed that ‘the Almighty has done marvels for me, Holy is His name’, he added.

“Mary walked in righteous with God throughout her life. It is important that we, too, follow the example of Mother Mary and St. Joseph, as they were perfect parents, in the formation of Jesus Christ. In likewise manner, today the parents are called to be as Mother Mary and St. Joseph. Not just in manners of meeting and fulfilling their needs, but above all, informing their minds and thoughts. The Parents today are called to mature their children, so that they can choose between what is right and wrong. Our Lady gives us the clearest and most inspiring picture of what the ideal mother should be like. Every Christian mother should be wise like Mother Mary, who excels at motherhood”, he emphasized.

“The wedding at Canna where Jesus obeys his Mother Mary, upon her emphasis on the worries of the hosting family. We must always remember that she lovingly intercedes on our behalf at all times. So, we gather here today for her venerate her and honour her, by offering our thanks to God”, he concluded.

After the Holy Mass, students of St. Mary’s High School, Gujranwala performed a tableau in honour of Mother Mary, prepared by ‘Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary’ followed by the Coronation of Our Lady.

In his closing remarks, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, congratulated Rev. Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz, the Parish Priest, his entire pastoral team for their tireless efforts. He said, “By God’s Grace, we’ll start building the new Parish Church, since the present one is not very spacious. I must request you all to contribute for this cause.”

At the end, Rev. Fr. Rafhan Fayyaz thanked His Grace and other priests for their presence. He also thanked the Pastoral team, security groups, Rosary Groups, police officials, Rescue 1122 and all the parishioners for all their contribution, efforts and presence.

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