Pope Francis recently met his representatives across the globe in the Vatican for a 3-day meeting particularly scheduled during the Holy Year of Mercy. During the gathering, Pope Francis reminded his nuncios that they should continue serving in humility and that their secret code as link between the successor of Peter and the different local Churches must be mercy.
In Pakistan, Mill Hillers working in the southern and the northern part of the country are separated by a large distance of approximately 1337 kilometers. Over the last few years, the young members in Pakistan have been committed to break the distance barrier by having a common annual gathering to listen and support each other in their unique mission journey in Pakistan. The meeting this year was attended by three members from Rawalpindi Diocese and five members from Hyderabad Diocese along with a Pakistani aspirant.
Fr Nico Schipper is a Mill Hill missionary in the diocese of Hyderabad, South-East Pakistan. He lives and works among the marginalised poor, those who are ranked lowest in the Hindu caste system. Even though Pakistan is an overwhelmingly Muslim country the Hindu caste mentality still largely governs social stratification. Most Christians belong to the lowest ranking category in the Hindu caste system. They are considered to be unclean and inferior. Traditionally more than 90% of these Christians find employment in the lowliest of occupations, as sweepers and cleaners of toilets, sewage etc. They are ranked at the very bottom of the social scale. Fortunately, through improved schooling, quite a number of Christians have found more dignified work. But the type of work you do has no influence on the social pecking order.
Our annual retreat as Mill Hill group in Sindh, Pakistan has been one of the most important sources of our personal and spiritual growth. When new trials seem to have overtaken us and frustrations due to changing situations burns us out, this time of the year is the perfect time to renew our strength and be filled of the joy that Christ can only give. Recognizing our own emptiness and thirst, we as disciples of Christ generously responded once again to His invitation to “come and see” so that our joy may be complete and that we can continue our joyful witnessing towards all.
A day after the attack dozens of priests and nuns joined a protest march and vigil at the site of the attack. Some wore black armbands while others placed flowers near the children's rides where the bomb exploded.
Fr Alois Prader mhm who died on 10th February 2016 served as a missionary in Pakistan all his life