LAHORE: As the Year of Faith concludes, Church evaluates the role of priesthood.
At the ending of the Year of Faith, the Church of Pakistan reflects on the,” role and charisma of priesthood.” Later than numerous ecumenical enterprises; committed to the theme of peace and unity, the Catholic community in Pakistan is desirous of focusing on the youth preparing for priesthood. The Catholic community wanted to finish off the Year of Faith whilst concentrating on all the young people who are preparing for ordination. For this reason a seminar was organized in recent days at the St. Francis Xavier philosophical pontifical Institute in Lahore. The seminar, which focused on “The challenges of priesthood in the modern world”, was attended by some seminarians from the Dioceses of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan.
Fr. Nadeem John Shakir-Secretary of the Commission for Social Communications in the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan and director of the “Rabita Manzil” multimedia Center said, “Every man needs a spiritual guide in order to carry out a spiritual journey in faith and to get closer to God.” Fr. Shakir was the core spokesman of the seminar while he highlighted, “the key challenges that every priest faces today in the modern world, especially referring to the Pakistani context: fundamentalism, individualism, nepotism, sectarianism.” Moreover, he addressed issues concerning the implementation of priestly ministry in a world affected by such phenomena. According to him when a priest undergoes this, what could happen is that the priest is likely to “go through a crisis of faith and identity”.
He noted that in order to meet these challenges, a priest ought to start off from three pillars: “Sacred Scripture; Sacred Tradition; authentic teaching of the Church”. If a priest does not abide in Christ and Christ abides in him, he cannot give Christ to others”, he said. “This is why “a priest never ends learning to know, to be, to do, to live together,” Fr. Shakir continued.
Fr. Shakir quoted John Paul II, recalling that every priest is called to be “rooted in Christ the Lord, is a gift of God to his Church through the Holy Spirit.”