Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Karachi ordains record number of priests
Shortage still acute, warns Church leaderFive ordinations were held at St Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi on Sunday (photo by Simon Andrews)
- Ayyaz Gulzar, Karachi
- December 12, 2012
A leading member of the clergy in Karachi has said that despite a record five ordinations in a single day on Sunday, the city – and Pakistan as a whole – still lacks priests.
“This is just the beginning,” Father Benjamin Shahzad, rector of the national seminary, said of the new ordinations. “We are not expecting a huge impact since about 30 percent of the priests here are aged above 70. Things get stuck when others get sick.”
He was speaking on the feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary which marked the ordination at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday. Three bishops concelebrated the mass.
Karachi continues to suffer a shortage of local ordinations while some of the parishes are still served by just one priest. Church analysts blame a lack of interest from parents, a secluded seminary life and cosmopolitan culture in Pakistan’s largest city.
The archdiocese, formed in 1950, ordained its first local priest just a year ago.
“Many priests are invited from their congregations to conduct Sunday masses – they are only visitors and cannot contribute much to parish life,” said Fr Shahzad. “The new priests will shoulder existing ministries in the larger parishes. They won’t be able to kick off new projects.”
To bring in new recruits, the Catholic Church organizes annual vocation camps in every diocese of the country with parish-based vocation committees playing an active role in inviting them.
“The new priests are well trained in computer wizardry and thus more closely associated with young people, many of whom are in contact with them through social media,” said Fr Benny Travas, vicar general.
The Church is aiming to put three priests in each community, he added, as still many people are not being reached: “This is affecting pastoral work, our ministries and other parish activities.”