Pakistan province offers funds for cathedral renovation

Chief Minister promises US$1.5 million and hails Church contribution to development of Sindh province
Pakistan province offers funds for cathedral renovation

Pakistan's Sindh provincial government has offered more than a million U.S. dollars to renovate iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (Wikimedia photo) reporter, Karachi
July 29, 2019
More than US$1.5 million is being provided by Pakistan's Sindh provincial government for the renovation of iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The foundation stone of the cathedral in Karachi, the province's capital, was laid in 1845 and the building is known for the richness of its stone, glass and timber craftsmanship.

The cathedral's rector, Father Mario Rodrigues, notes that it can accommodate 1,500 people for prayer services and he is proud of its Gothic revival architecture.

Father Rodrigues, heading a July 27 church delegation, talked to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah about the contribution of local Christians to the development of Karachi.

Shah responded that provincial administration heritage experts would be involved in the cathedral's restoration "to its original glory."

The funding is to be provided for the work to be done over three years, starting with the interior.

Chief Minister Shah, an alumni of the St. Patrick's high school in Karachi, hailed the Catholic Church's good works within the province, especially in providing educational and health services.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral rector Father Mario Rodrigues on July 27 met the Chief Minister of Sindh province in Pakistan, Murad Ali Shah, to discuss funding assistance for the iconic church building's restoration. (Photo supplied)

The present cathedral was built on the site of an original church that continued to function until it was destroyed by a storm in 1885.

Measuring 52 meters by 22 meters, the cathedral was erected by Jesuits.

The design of the cathedral was conceived by the architect Father Karl Wagner and the construction was supervised by two lay Jesuit brothers, George Kluver and Herman Lau.

The Gazetteer of the province of Sindh describes the cathedral thus;

"Its exterior is not ornamental, though striking from a distance, but money and art have been lavished on the interior.”  The Gazetteer adds that the chancel is spacious and acquires a special impressiveness because of its height, while the "noble contours" of the altar are seen to best advantage.

The cathedral's stained-glass windows were produced by Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany.

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