A pleasent surprise. What a pleasant surprise. Finding Our Lady of Fatima sandwiched between Reno Center and Gul Plaza is such a pleasent surprise. Our generation has seen a state of M. A. Jinnah road which would have made Karachiites of yore sick to their soul. The road which made a vibrant art gallery once is turning into the most polluted one with tasteless towers of consumerism replacing elegant structures commissioned by notable Karachi wallas. But once you enter the littered street right before the intersection of Garden and M.A. Jinnah road, the sense of loss strikes you right in the heart. At the beginning of the street, once stood the head office of East India Tram Company. Now it is a concrete carbuncle known as Gul Plaza. At the end of the street was famous Reno Cinema which has been replaced by the ugliest of structures. These builders, in their lust for aggrandizement are making Karachi mundane and characterless. These builders will throw their mother in front of a train to earn few pennies more. But lets leave the sad story of the Tram company and Cinemas for a while and talk about something beautiful.
This thing of beauty and solace is known as Our Lady of Fatima Church. Its a small church inside a larger compound which shares the wall with Reno Center. There is a school and few offices also. The church is dedicated to the miraculous appearance of the blessed Virgin Mary in a small village of Fatima in Portugal. According to the legend, The Blessed Virgin Mary, appeared to 3 shepherd children in 1917. The village of Fatima had remained faithful to the Catholic Church during the state persecutions. Her message was that war is a punishment for sin; that God would punish the world unless we listened to and obeyed the command of God. It was followed by a miracle known as Dance of the Sun. Now the place has become a major pilgrimage site and many churches have been erected in memory of the miracle. On the 13th July 1962, the construction started of a church in Karachi and On the 8th Sep, 1963, the Church was blessed and dedicated to Our lady of Fatima.
The church has a design which is uncharacteristic to this part of the world. The church is in circular shape with large glass windows on the facade. The seating is in semi circular shape encircling the rostrum. There is a small balcony where music instruments are kept. There is a cricket pitch outside, possibly used by the students of the school. Saturdays and Sundays is a busy affair here. People from nearby areas come here for prayers. They come here to find solace. The place is a much needed get away in an area which has become hostile for a normal living.
Thank you Our Lady of Fatima.