Father Javed Khurshid, the parish priest, is still a young priest. He was ordained 12 years ago and serves today in the diocese of Multan in the southern Punjab region of Pakistan. His parish, Saint Peter‘s, lies on the outskirts of the city and not only serves one section of the city but also a large rural area, extending up to nearly 300 miles (500 km).
The parish has nine outstations, which need to be visited regularly, but there are also many more villages, some with just a handful of scattered Catholic families, which he has to visit. Every week he covers hundreds of miles, bringing the sacraments, visiting the sick, conducting funerals and much more besides. Here in Pakistan, where Christians face frequent discrimination and often even violence and generally live on the lowest rung of society, the visits of the priest are a source of hope and are eagerly awaited by the people.
However, all this work of service is impossible without an adequate means of transport. For the present, Father Khurshid only has one ageing vehicle, which has been used for the past 16 years by the priests of the parish. It is constantly breaking down, so that every journey is a nerve wracking experience. The constant repairs are simply swallowing up money, and Father Javed never knows if he is going to arrive on time at his destination, where the faithful are waiting for him. From time to time he also uses public transport, but this is unreliable and wastes a great deal of his time. And yet he doesn‘t have the money to buy a new car.
ACN is therefore planning to give a contribution of 11,500 Euros so that Father Javed can finally buy a new and reliable vehicle, and so reach his waiting Catholic faithful on time.