Presence of Muslim devotees at Marriamabad festival is encouraging says a Catholic priest

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Pakistani Catholic priest expresses gladness over the fact that several Muslim devotees had participated in the Marriamabad festival.”A large presence of Muslim faithful leaders and believers, are paying visit, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mariamabad, in the diocese of Lahore. A message of love, tolerance and harmony comes from Mary,” says Father James Channan.

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Father James Channan, a Dominican Priest in Lahore who serves at the Peace Center reiterated his commitment to promote and uphold inter-religious dialogue and harmony. On the other hand, Archbishop of Lahore Mgr. Sebastian Shaw paid a visit to the shrine on September 12. While addressing the pilgrims he welcomed the Muslim devotees. He extended greetings towards large assembly of Pakistani Christians who had flocked from various areas of the country to participate in the festival.

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During the festival various organizations together with Christian and Muslim sponsors are providing for the food and refreshments for the pilgrims who have traveled to Marriamabad after long journeys. It was stated that not only Christians attend this festival but adherents of other faiths including Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus also come to take part in the festival.

Moreover, medical camps and a make-shift hospital was set-up to administer medical treatment to those in need. According to an estimate about 4000 pilgrims were expected to reach Marriamabad in order to participate in the festival. “The message written at the entrance of the shrine says that all religions teach peace and love,” said Father Channan.