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ONE APOSTOLIC BODY: Rejoicing in our Mission in Pakistan

By Mariam Norick, RJM

The young woman in the photo is Suneeta Saleem. She is a Junior RJM and has recently passed, with honors, her studies for Masters in Finance. She was selected to represent her college, The University of Lahore, at a Research Symposium held in a University in Islamabad. Suneeta is from a family living in a Basti in Shadbagh, one of the most underdeveloped areas of Lahore. She is a graduate of the school we opened there in the early 90’s.

Once I was asked if I felt I had achieved anything worthwhile during my many years spent in Pakistan.

Well, Suneeta is an excellent answer for that question. And there are many more: Shahan, a recent graduate of Officers Training College for the Pakistan Army. His mother was so sure her prayers that a Convent school be opened in Toba Tek Singh would be fruitful that she delayed admitting him to school. The school did open and his name is the first in the Admission Register. He came to visit me in Islamabad after receiving his Commission in the Army. I have met several other men and women from the village, Mariakhel or from Fatima School in Islamabad doing well in the Armed Services, as Staff Nurses in various hospitals, employed in Embassies, or N.G.O.’s.

Many parents coming now to admit their children are themselves graduates of Khatoon-e-Fatima High School were among the first students attending classes in the partitioned spaces in the Church Hall in the early 80’s. They want a promising future for their children and good education is the path to that future.

In answer to the question posed I say “Yes, I feel my years in Pakistan have been fruitful, and the Sisters and Lay Teachers who have accompanied me have been support and strength throughout those years. It is now a joy to see the fruit of the labor doing so well.”

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