ucanews.com reporter, KarachiUpdated: April 29, 2019 09:36 AM GMT
Cardinal Joseph Coutts (right) accompanies Sindh governor Imran Ismail (center) during a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi on April 26. (Photo courtesy of St. Patrick's Cathedral staff)
A three-day music festival was held in Karachi to raise funds for the renovation of one of Pakistan’s oldest churches.
The Muslim community joined hands with Catholics from St. Patrick’s Parish for the event to support 175-year-old St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
In his address, Cardinal Joseph Coutts of Karachi welcomed the gesture by Muslim brethren and appreciated their presence, cooperation and support.
“The need is not only to work for the building of the cathedral but also for the harmony of the people of Pakistan, because it’s all about Pakistan. And I am happy that the people who are volunteering for this noble cause are not only from our church but are also Muslims,” the cardinal said.
“This three-year project will not only help us to raise funds but will also strengthen interfaith harmony and build good relations between people of various religions that will definitely contribute to the development of the country and send a positive message from Pakistan, our beloved homeland.”
Imran Ismail, the governor of Pakistan’s Sindh province, inaugurated the event.
“Interfaith harmony is the need of the hour. Every religion in the world teaches love, peace and kindness and it is needed to promote tolerance and humanity,” Ismail told ucanews.com.
The governor appreciated the services of the minority Christian community in various fields, especially education and health care.
“The services of the church in promoting interfaith harmony are also remarkable. I appreciate the Christian community for organizing this event to raise funds to renovate the architectural work of the church building,” Ismail said.
The event included food stalls, a children’s play area and musical performances in which renowned Christian and Muslim singers and musicians rendered their talents free of charge.
Father Mario Rodrigues, rector of the cathedral, said: “This year we are celebrating 175 years of the foundation of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi. We have to preserve our history, especially this great architectural work. Many of the stained glasses are broken and the stonework needs repairing.”
He said the restoration project would cost about US$1.6 million. Several fundraising events are planned.
“The governor and the chief minister of Sindh province have assured us of their support for this project. They have sent a team to see the cathedral and that team will monitor and evaluate the whole three-year project,” Father Rodrigues said.