St. Mary's Church, Sukkur

St. Mary's Church, Sukkur, Pakistan, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad. It is one of the oldest parishes in the diocese, dating back to the 1850s. Fr. Konrad Peters SJ was the parish priest from 1851–1858.[2]

St Mary's Church
St Mary's Catholic Church, Sukkur, Pakistan.jpg
St Mary's Church, Sukkur in 1992
LocationSukkur, Sindh
CountryPakistan
Language(s)Urdu
DenominationRoman Catholic
TraditionLatin
Architecture
Functional statusActive
Groundbreaking1851
Completed2009
DemolishedFebruary 2006
Administration
DioceseDiocese of Hyderabad
Clergy
Bishop(s)Samson Shukardin OFM
Priest in chargeFather Yacoob Gill[1]

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha and Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira shared a close friendship while living in the parish.[3]

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is keen to move beyond seminars and to improve women's lot, through participation in all spheres of life, social, economic and political. At a one-day women's seminar on March 8, 1997, in St. Mary’s parish, measures were proposed to enhance women's participation in economic activity to empower them to take their fate into their own hands.[4]

The parish also encompasses the St. Mary’s High School, Sukkur, the only Catholic high school in Sukkur, established in 1881.

Destruction and rebuildingEdit

In February 2006, a mob destroyed St. Mary's Catholic Church and St. Savior's Protestant Church [5] Similar attacks in other parts of the country have brought Muslim and minority religious leaders together. They have joined in condemning the string of attacks on churches in Pakistan and called for the government to change conditions that they say foster bigotry.[6]

During the attack, the mob of several thousand arsonists ripped out and burnt pews and statues, and tried to force open the tabernacle, only for the handle to break off in their hands. The building was completely gutted by fire, leaving only the brick walls and no roof.

The bishop, Bishop Max Rodrigues, of Hyderabad, after waiting for government compensation, eventually turned to the aid organisation, Aid to the Church in Need. With the funds he raised and with the help of the local parishioners, the church was rebuilt and enlarged for a growing congregation. It reopened in 2009.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Raising their voices: Minorities blame weak laws for difficult living conditions". The Express Tribune. 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  2. ^ Camps, Arnulf. Studies in Asian mission history, 1956-1998. Brill, The Netherlands, 2000
  3. ^ "UCANews.com November 8, 2006".
  4. ^ "UCANews.com May 1, 1997".
  5. ^ "UCANews.com April 18, 2006".
  6. ^ "UCANews.com March 14, 2006".
  7. ^ Aid to the Church in Need: Sukkur - Rebuilding Saint Mary's Church