Pakistan has won the Ninth Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay Award held on Friday, 8 June 2018 on the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a day reserved for praying for the sanctification of priests worldwide.
The Ninth Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay 2018 award was presented by Rev. Father Nazar Nawab, parish priest of St. Paul’s Parish Karachi, and the local representative of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate for Pakistan, Naveed Anjum, to His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Karachi-Pakistan on Friday 25 January 2019, on the solemn feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle and The Golden Jubilee Celebration Day of St. Paul’s Parish Mehmoodabad Karachi-Pakistan (the biggest Parish of Metropolitan Karachi, Pakistan).
His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts is Pakistan’s second Cardinal, elevated as Cardinal last year on 28 June, by Pope Francis, after twenty years serving with the Church in Pakistan. The first Cardinal of Pakistan, His Eminence Joseph Marie Anthony Cordeiro died on 11 February 1994, having been elevated as Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1978.
In his thanksgiving address His Eminence Cardinal Coutts praised the Worldpriest initiative of praying for priests and the promotion of the Rosary for the sanctification of priests worldwide. He also thanked Rev. Father Nazar Nawab and Naveed Anjum for bringing Worldpriest’s mission to Pakistan. His Eminence Cardinal Coutts rallied priests present and said:
‘Dear Priests and brothers, may I request that you please appreciate, encourage and support the mission of Worldpriest, especially in Pakistan, because this lay organisation is working for your sanctification and mobilising the world to pray the Rosary. Personally I did nothing to deserve the success of the Ninth Annual Global Rosary Relay 2018, so then why should I receive this award? But because this award has been won by the Catholics of Pakistan, as the Cardinal from your country I therefore receive this precious award from the good people of Worldpriest, on behalf of you all – the real and righteous people who deserve this award because of your participation in this global prayer event, organised in Pakistan and for the sanctification of us priests’.
His Eminence Coutts also praised the appropriate use of social media in this initiative. Vicar General Father Saleh Diago, Rector of Christ The King Major Seminary, Rev. Father Benjamen Shehzad and Rector Priest of the St. Pius X Minor Seminary, Rev. Father Joseph Ryan and twenty priests and parish priests of the Archdiocese of Karachi were also present at the Eucharist and the award presentation Mass, which more than 1,000 parishioners attended.
How the Rosary Relay was organised in Pakistan
On Friday 8 June 2018, the feast of the Sacred Heart of the Jesus and the day dedicated to the Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification of Priests worldwide, the sun rose very early over Karachi. The event was organised with the kind cooperation of Rev. Father Nazar Nawab, Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Karachi, and the lay organisation called the Way of the Sacred Heart, led by a young Pakistani called Christopher Zahid.
There are twenty-four Catholic churches in Pakistan and the four cities of Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot participated in this Global Rosary Relay. There are six Catholic dioceses in Pakistan and the three archdioceses of Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad participated. A convent of Franciscan Sisters also participated.
Local online television channels Good News TV, under the guidance of director Father Amir Bhatti, and Catholic TV covered the event. A prelude to the Annual Global Rosary relay was also organised on the evening of Thursday, 7 June 2018 evening in Karachi. There are approximately half a million Catholics in Pakistan, many of whom prayed with millions of others from around the world for the sanctification of our priests worldwide, while asking for the intercession of Our Lady – Spiritual Mother of all Priests.
A word of congratulations from Worldpriest
The founder of Worldpriest, Marion Mulhall and the Worldpriest team who organised this great event were overjoyed at the success of Pakistan in winning this 2018 award. The determination with which Pakistan’s participation was coordinated with such courage; dedication and witness to faith by the people of Pakistan who participated so devoutly and so prayerfully in the Annual Global Rosary Relay of 2018 deserve the highest level of recognition and praise. A special word of thanks must go to our local representative of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate for Pakistan – Naveed Anjum.