“He was a committed and zealous man, a great man and an excellent priest.”
On 6th July, 2020, Mr. Asher Nazir (Executive Secretary of URI Pakistan) and Sr. Sabina Rifat (Coordinator of URI Women Wing Pakistan) met with Fr. Moris Jalal (Director of Catholic TV) at the office of Catholic TV in Model Town, Lahore, Pakistan for sharing condolences about the passing of Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM.
They shared that, in this big pain and loss, our prayers and sympathies are with Capuchin’s family in Pakistan. We are praying for his eternal life – may his soul rest in peace. Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM, Provincial of the Capuchins in Pakistan and Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism, who died in Lahore on 3 July, was an ‘Ambassador of Peace.’
National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism is a Cooperation Circle (member group) of URI Pakistan. It joined the URI Network in 2007. The Commission developed the SEED (Social Education and Enterprise Development) program for women, in which it gives women small grants for business. This Cooperation Circle also holds joint celebrations where people from different walks of life and different religions come together to celebrate different religious festivals, such as Iftar, Eid, Christmas, Diwali, and others. On the platform of that Cooperation Circle, Fr. Nadeem Francis was working with different religions for the promotion of peace and interfaith harmony in Pakistan.
“Friar Francis Nadeem was the backbone of the mission of interreligious dialogue in Pakistan: after his death, we feel orphaned. We hope and pray his legacy inspires many Christians and Muslims in this mission.” – Fr. Moris Jalal
Mr. Asher Nazir, Executive Secretary of United Religions Initiative (URI) Pakistan, said that Fr. Nadeem Francis was always very humble; he dedicated his life to his mission. He never chased fame; he carried out his mission in silence, which was to spread love, peace and harmony among people of various faiths. He put all of himself out to bring fraternity and unity among Christians and Muslims; he sensitized public and Islamic schools with a message of unity, reception and tolerance. He was twice honored by the President of Pakistan for his good work in strengthening peace and harmony in Pakistan.
Sr. Sabina Rifat, Coordinator of URI Women Wing Pakistan, recalls Fr. Francis Nadeem was a “bridge of unity between Christians and people of other faiths.”
“He was a forward-looking leader and an important book on the contribution of religious minorities to the development and progress of the country,” Sr. Sabina Rifat continued. “His death is a great loss for the cause of interreligious dialogue. His commitment to promoting dialogue and tolerance will always be remembered. We will do our best to continue that commitment.” She said that URI Pakistan is thankful for his great services for the promotion of peace and interfaith harmony, which help to remove discrimination fundamentalism and extremism from our society.
Fr. James Channan OP, Regional Coordinator of URI Pakistan, shared, “I lost one of my best friends and Ambassador of Peace, Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap. His eternal departure is a great loss to the Church in Pakistan and to lovers of interfaith and Christian-Muslim dialogue. May his soul rest in peace! My heartfelt condolences with his family and Capuchin community.”
Executive Secretary, URI Pakistan
Coordinator, Community Organization for People Empowerment (COPE) Pakistan