Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "Pakistani Christians have to face multiple challenges. Every new day challenges increase, of a social, cultural and religious nature for the small community of faithful in Pakistan. In this framework, the Year of the Eucharist will be a source of fullness of life and joy": says to Agenzia Fides newly elected Archbishop Joseph Arshad, recently appointed by Pope Francis at the head of the Archdiocese of Islamaba-Rawalpindi, and president of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan. "The Year of the Eucharist will be for Catholics in Pakistan a moment of spiritual growth and of inner renewal, to share the love of Christ with all of humanity and to renew service to our country", says Mgr. Arshad, explaining the spirit with which the Pakistani faithful will live this special time.
The solemn opening of the Year of the Eucharist was held with a mass celebrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi on November 25, and will end on November 25, 2018, with a mass in Lahore. The evangelical verse that characterizes the Year of the Eucharist is: "I am the bread of life" (Jn 6:35). Archbishop Joseph Coutts presided over the solemn Eucharist, concelebrated with other Pakistani bishops and before an assembly of priests, religious and faithful from all the dioceses of the Country.
Pope Francis sent a message to the Church of Pakistan for the occasion, in which he affirmed: "I am confident that this year will offer a privileged opportunity to grow in love for the Eucharistic sacrifice, source and peak of Christian life". The Pope invites the Catholic community in Pakistan to "reflect every day and live a deeper sharing of the Mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ", so as to "offer an even stronger testimony of the presence of the Lord in Pakistan".
The Commission for Liturgy in the Episcopal Conference will take care of all the formation and liturgical events that will be organized and to "invite the faithful to be missionaries of the Holy Eucharist", said Bishop Benny Travas, President of the Commission. And he added: "To celebrate the Year of the Eucharist is an urgency of this time. We must return to the roots of our faith and the Eucharist, teaching the faithful to have a personal relationship with the Eucharistic Lord and to guide the faithful to celebrate the Eucharist worthily and fully. The miraculous power of the Eucharist will enable us to promote the culture of love, unity, peace and harmony and to be witnesses of Christ's eucharistic love in Pakistan".
Among the scheduled events, moments of catechesis, liturgy, listening, mission in the various Pakistani dioceses. In past days, special meetings were held in the Archdiocese of Karachi, on themes such as "Eucharist and paschal mystery" or "Eucharist source of evangelization". Fr. Mario Rodrigues, member of the National Liturgical Commission, who during the course of the year will carry out seminars, workshops, conferences and Eucharistic adorations, points out in an interview with Fides that "extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and lay faithful will be involved in these programs". (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/12/2017)