Friday, 24 June 2011

Congregation bids farewell to retired Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore

A thanksgiving mass was held for retired Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore which was attended by hundreds of Catholic clergy and laypeople; and all the diocese’s 58 priests at Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Archbishop Saldanha retired on April 7 this year, after heading Lahore archdiocese for almost 10 years. The speakers at the mass paid tribute to the retired prelate who “strongly supported inter-religious harmony and dialogue during a decade of the ‘war on terror’.” They recalled major instances of Christian persecution, all in Punjab province, under his tenure of office, including the assassination of Catholic federal minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti on March 2, this year.

Born: Lawrence John Saldanha in Mangalore, India on 12 Jun 1936.
Religious training: Christ the King seminary in Karachi and was ordained a priest in Lahore, Pakistan on 16 Jan 1960.
He also earned a doctorate in systematic theology from Rome-based Pontifical Urbaniana University. He participated in the Second Vatican Council.

- He served in different parishes in Lahore and was secretary of Caritas Pakistan 1966-73.
- He served 1971-74 as editor of the Catholic Naqib, the Archdiocese’s Urdu bimonthly.
- He was also rector of Christ the King Seminary in Karachi from 1974–1979 and taught dogmatic theology there until 1983.

- From 1986-98 he was head of the social communications commission and WAVE Studio, the Church's national audiovisual center in Lahore.
- He also headed the UCA News bureau in Pakistan.
- President of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conference
- Chairmanship of Radio Veritas.

- He was serving as associate pastor of Precious Blood Church in Toronto, Canada, when he was recalled to serve the Church in Pakistan.
- On 24 Apr 2001 he was appointed Archbishop of Lahore by Pope John Paul II.
- He is the Leader of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.

- On 16 January 2010, Archbishop Saldanha celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest, of serving his church for 50 years.

- On 7 April 2011 Archbishop Saldanha retired as Archbishop of Lahore

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