KARACHI: As the city celebrated Sindhi Cultural Day on Sunday, there was also another, much smaller, gracious celebration under way at the St Patrick’s Cathedral since the morning mass.
Along with the hymns and readings from the Bible, the merriment also included strings of green clover decorations, lots of flower arrangements, candles, a big chocolate cake, yummy snacks, confetti cannons and balloons, 175 balloons to be exact, which Archbishop of Karachi Joseph Cardinal Coutts released into the air on the occasion of the 175th anniversary, or centennial platinum jubilee, of the St Patrick’s parish. The celebration included the launching of the book St Patrick’s: A Journey of 175 Years by Goretti and Michael Ali.
In his special sermon on the day, Joseph Cardinal Coutts spoke about time and how different people along the years had measured it. “Today, according to the church’s calendar, we have begun a new year. Anything happening within a specified time, we give it a meaning,” he said getting to the subject of celebrating the centennial platinum jubilee of St Patrick’s.
“Some 175 years ago, there was a small chapel built in Saddar which was raised in status along the years and today we are celebrating the 175 years of a cathedral,” he said while praying for all those who supported the St Patrick’s Cathedral over generations.
The 225-page coffee table book launched on the occasion is a labour of love by the researcher wife and her journalist husband who can say that they grew up themselves and also watched their children grow in the cathedral grounds. And they have paid tribute to their parish church by tracing its history to well before the foundation of the cathedral was laid.
The book is basically a collection of relevant documents and articles from the archdiocesan archives and other sources. The addition of photographs in it helps one understand in depth the beauty, grace and significance of this heritage monument, a landmark of Karachi.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2018