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Screenshot 2024-04-22 170354.png
Screenshot from Catholics in Pakistan YouTube channel
Screenshot 2024-04-22 170354.png
Screenshot from Catholics in Pakistan YouTube channel
World News

Pakistan's oldest clergyman dies aged 97

by Lydia Davies

Father Melito Dias, celebrated as Pakistan's oldest clergyman, passed away on 18th April at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy of devotion to faith and education.

His passing was due to old age complications at Karachi's Holy Family Hospital, confirmed by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) on 19th April.

According to UCA News, Fr Dias, Born in Karachi on 27th February 1921, pursued his education at St. Patrick’s High School and was ordained a priest in Sri Lanka on 24th August 1954. His service spanned various roles, including positions at the Minor Seminary in Quetta and St Patrick’s High School.

Fr Dias also had a notable passion for field hockey but chose missionary work over a sports tournament in India. Upon returning from Sri Lanka, he contributed significantly to education in Pakistan.

The loss of Fr Dias has touched both Christian and Islamic communities for his services to the community. Rev Salman Babar reflected on Fr Dias's impact. He told the news outlet: “He was a very kind and sensible person,” noting his focus on education for Christian children.

Dr Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, a top Islamic body, also mourned his death, saying: “He will be remembered for the many years that he served his community.”

Kashif Anthony from the Catholic (National) Commission for Justice and Peace described Dias as “a gem of a person,” adding that “Father Melito Dias was a friendly man and sitting and talking to him for even a few minutes gave one inner peace and encouragement.”

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