FAILSALABAD (Agencies): The parish of Arooj-e-Mariam founded thanks to the good will and assistance with funding from local Muslims in Faisalabad, Pakistan, celebrated its 25th anniversary on December 21 last year.
In order to mark the occasion, parishioners have passed around the hat and have built a small grotto as a meeting place for prayer.
The first priest to be appointed to the parish, Father Barnard, described the foundation of the parish as containing precious memories that must be passed onto future generations.
He said that he remembers drawing up the ground plans for the church with a lot of passion and the building was made possible thanks to the financial support of both the Christian and local Muslim communities.
Happiness and satisfaction were expressed by Bishop Rufin Anthony, from the diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, who is currently the apostolic administrator of Faisalabad.
He called the present a time of the true faith, despite what he described as the great difficulties facing the country. The bishop added, “Jesus is among us, so we should not be afraid.”
Father Nisar Barkat, the current parish priest, spoke of his profound joy, which he attributed to the blessings he has received from almighty God and the people, who helped him to make this parish so beautiful and build the grotto in the Church.
The church was decorated with flowers, garlands, banners and balloons for the anniversary celebration and the event was reported widely in local media.