Our Lady of Fatima Parish: A wonderful church hidden in Karachi
This architectural marvel is one of a kind. No other church in South Asia is built in the same way as this one.
Over the years, Karachi has become more of a commercial pothole. Buildings are constructed in the most unexpected yet absurd places, while dhaabas (tea shops) and hotels sprout like shrubs in every nook and corner of the city. It has become congested and overwhelming.
It is due to this hotchpotch that many citizens remain unaware of the great architectural brilliance that lies hidden deep inside the city.
One such building that is overlooked is a church called Our Lady of Fatima. This beautiful structure lies sandwiched between Anklesaria Hospital (near the Garden area) and the infamous Gul Plaza shopping mall.
The foundation stone of the church was laid by HE Mgr Xavier Zupie, the Vatican internuncio. However, it was not until a year later that the church was blessed and dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. Since then the church has been in consistent service to Catholics located nearby.
What makes this church different from all the others located in Karachi is its unique circular structure. It is interesting to note is that no other churches in South Asia are built in the same way as this one.
Additionally, the church has a separate bell tower which gives it an Anglo-Saxon touch that makes it look more glamorous. To the right of the church, there is a grotto built in dedication to the Apparition of Our Lady to the three children in Fátima, Portugal.
Recently the church witnessed a major internal overhaul directed by the current parish priest Fr Luis Esquinas Pajuelo in accordance with the norms of the Second Vatican Council. This has added to the interior of the church by making it look more rich and modern.
In the future, there are plans of making the entire church centrally air-conditioned. However, this is not possible at the moment because of insufficient funds.
Nonetheless, Our Lady of Fatima Church continues to serve as a place of worship for all its parishioners and also stands proud as one of the most eminent architectural landmarks present in Karachi.
PHOTOS: GLENN RYALL
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