LUMEN Issue 1 - June 2011 | Page 17

Postcards from
Here there are 31 Christians living with
350 Muslims but they live well , peacefully and watch cricket in each other ’ s homes .

Postcards from


By Michael D ’ Cruz
Franciscan Friar Michael D ' Cruz , OFM , the School Chaplain , on his visit to
Pakistan after he was recently appointed by the Minister General of the Franciscan order to be his representative . The Franciscans arrived in 1930s ( then India ) from Holland . Today there are about 38 Franciscans , all of them local .

Here there are 31 Christians living with

350 Muslims but they live well , peacefully and watch cricket in each other ’ s homes .

2 January 2011
Peace or as they greet in Urdu : Salam ! Arrived in Karachi and had the biggest surprise of my life ! Right in front just staring directly at me was McDonalds . So much for all the anxieties about food and drink that was projected !
It ’ s a wonderful thing being part of a worldwide religious community . The bonds of Franciscan brotherhood runs so deep that being greeted by the friars at the airport sets me at ease as McDonalds might to any average teenager .
Karachi is something else – the city is so densely populated that the chaos in the traffic becomes irritable but understandable .
Was shown my room – a single bed , a desk with a lamp and a bookshelf longing to be filled .
Adventure awaits !
5 January 2011
I am now in a village called Jemmke Cheema in Pakistan Punjab . It is situated en-route to Sialkot – an industrial hub and probably where some of the footballs we kick are made .
This village however is a remote place where
power is available only four hours a day . It ’ s really cold . To get here , I left Karachi by flight to Lahore . The plane was supposed to take off at 4pm but I was informed it was delayed to 11pm . At 6pm I was told the plane is rescheduled to take off at 8pm ! Don ' t ask me why . No one seems to know but everyone seems to accept it with the patience of a saint .
After arriving in Lahore we drove through the night for about 6 hours to this mission outpost . The terrain was dry and rocky and it felt really strange driving in the night with a heavy fog hanging densely over the quiet metal road . It was ghostly . Eventually we came to an intersection with naked incandescent bulbs hanging over stainless steel pots and the hum of a generator that broke the stillness . Had a welcome stop over for tea , boiled egg and a shut-eye .
6 January 2011
The friars have been ministering here for just about four years . The Christians are a tiny and persecuted minority . Sadly I have come to realize the persecution of a minority crosses political ,