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Lahore Archdiocesan Pastoral Council encouraged to plan in the year of faith.

Lahore: March 5, 2013. (Fr. Inayat Bernard) 2nd March, 2013: Bishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM said that in many countries the church is happy in the structure of the Catholic Church as far as the Sacramental life is concerned. The approach to the people and visit has not been so pleasing. So the regular visit of the houses will be useful for their spiritual formation. He said that the positive approach of evangelization has to be adopted so that people can easily understand and appreciate the teaching of the church.

He continued that in Europe many people especially two generations are unaware about religion and they do not feel the need of it. He referred to the communion committees in the past which were said to be a great help to teach the faithful all the prayers and adequate preparation for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confession and Eucharist. He ended that to evangelize to the nations is the responsibility of all.

19 Priests, sisters, catechists and faithful came together with the Bishop with suggestions to celebrate the year of faith declared by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI Emiratus from 11th October 2012 till 24th November, 2013.

Fr. Francis Sabar OFM Cap said that in Lahore East circle they are going to sit together for the syllabus for village and city parishes for non going school kids. It will be done on two levels and the syllabus about catechism will be prepared and shared. For faith rally in October the Lahore Archdiocesan parishes will be contacted.

Fr. Yaqoob Farooq OP coordinator of Sheikhupura circle said that in their circle meeting the Sacraments are being stressed with the people through seminars and four truths of faith and Apostles’ Creed.

Fr. Philip John from Gujranwala circle said that in their parishes all the prayers are read before the Holy Mass/Bible Service or any other religious gatherings are being celebrated. Sacrament of penance is being stressed. Rituals of the mass are being highlighted. Each part of the mass is being taught why we kneel, stand and sit and importance of offertory etc.

Fr. Younas Hussain OFM from Sialkot circle said that in their circle meetings the sharing was done to have the apparent signs of love and concern towards that faithful when they visit the parishes which will help to strengthen the relationships to help to make them strong in their faith in the Lord. He emphasized the need to restructure the parishes. In the schools the catholic teachers or catechists should be appointed.

Fr. Joseph Louis Executive Secretary of Caritas Pakistan Lahore said that the confidence in CPL is improving. They have planned to join on commission level to have on-going programmers and make them strengthened to change the attitude in dealing with the people.

In the rehabilitation area for disaster management the protestants have also experienced that CPL has taken initiative and they appreciate our work. The faith has been made strong.

Shaheen Yousaf diocesan director of Catholic Women Organization said that they are going to have activities regarding the faith formation of women. At the level of the house and their localities and some have already planned. International day of women which is 8th March is to encourage women as the source of faith. In the program Fazila Aurat we shall talk about the faith.

She continued that on the circle level the CWO wishes to involve parishes and on the 16th March at 10.00.a.m. Aurat iman ka mamba (Woman source of faith) program is being organized. Only Lahore based parishes are going to be invited when Tableaus,10 minutes drama, and stalls will be fixed. She concluded that during this year on the circle level they will organize some programs.

Fr. Rubina SJG, director of Dar-u-Kalam said the plans have been made for the teachers, schools, exams of kids. Hamjoli, choirs, Eucharistic ministers.

Fr. Inayat Bernard, executive secretary of the Catechists’ Commission of the Archdiocese of Lahore said that we had already planed in the beginning of December 2012 for the year of faith. The bi-monthly ongoing formation of the catechists, the topics are designed in accordance with the year of faith. The catechists are asked to recite all the prayers in their respective areas, organize first communion programs and mini conventions which are helpful to strengthen their faith. The first ongoing formation program was preached in January 2013 by Bishop Sebastian Francis Sahw OFM and Emmanuel Neno the Executive Secretary of the Catechetical Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

He ended by saying that in the annual refresher course of the catechists in July this topic will be dealt in detail to adequately equip them to assist the faithful to be strong in their faith in the Lord.

Miss Samaria told about the Catholic Naqib that it reports about the faith news and views She asked the cooperation of priests, in charge of schools to promote it and get more and more subscribers to become strong in their faith.

Fr. Ashraf Gill told about different activities organized on the parish, diocesan and national level. During this year of faith Lent and Christmas recollections are organized. A special effort is made to have an exposer with the tribal people. Our youth will visit them and they will come to our diocese. Marian devotion is stressed and the young boys and girls help at the Mariamabad Ziarat in September.

Blood for needy is sought from the young people, they are encouraged to visit the Missionary of Charity home in Lahore and other charitable institutions run by the sisters. He informed the group that 85 young people were helped to get government jobs and scholarships are being arranged for them.

After the discussion in three groups it was finalized to have this topic Christian Faith Catechism through Sacraments. This topic will be dealt on all levels by the groups, catechists, sisters and priests.

Fr. Samson Dilawar, the coordinator of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council said, while thanking, that the Archdiocesan pastoral Council is the canonical body and we are here to report, suggest and move forward.

He thanked the fathers, sisters, catechists and laity for their participation.