Pakistan: “bringing Christ to the youth of this beautiful country”

“I can imagine what many readers are thinking when reading about celebrating in Pakistan these days… but this has nothing to do with the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden. Once again Pakistan has made it to the headlines for a piece of news we knew over here all the while… that he was right amongst us. No wonder during our Relief Work after the 2005 Earthquake I always said that “I think I have met OBL a number of times because they all look like him! Well, we have decided to share good family news from these recent days to disperse the concern we know many confreres would be feeling about our security. Despite the efforts of the international media to paint Pakistan yet once again as a country where the action we have been reading about is likely to trigger a violent reaction, the fact is that life goes on as normal around us. There have been rallies in a few cities but the one in the Capital just yesterday for example could not gather more than 100 islamists. We decided then not to change our routine and, unlike other Christian Schools in our city, had regular classes.

The Feast of St Dominic Savio was a beautiful one for the event that took place in our home: 6 young men were baptized and another 5 received their First Communion. It was the best offer we could make to honour our young saint. It was a simple but heartfelt ceremony with all our boarders celebrating the sacramental rites with devotion and intensity.

Our Hostel is by now the largest for Christian youth in the entire nation… and we now need to double it to cope with the demand and better serve local youth! The recently retired Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore has just today shared the table with our Community in thanksgiving for the work done in his Diocese for the last 10 years.

But the celebrations were not over yet – on May 7 three of our clerics renewed their Religious Profession in Quetta as a sign of faithfulness to the commitment made a few years ago, and their love for Don Bosco and for the Church. They are the best proof of how important the Salesian charism is for this land, so much in need of peace and hope.

We Salesians do not intend to allow ourselves be swallowed up by the torrent of news about Osama’s death these days. We have our own good news and will continue to focus on bringing Christ to the youth of this beautiful country”.