St. Eugene’s Parish Nawan Killi Quetta
Quetta also spelled Kwatah, city, district, and division of Balochistan province, Pakistan. The name is a variation of kwatkot, a Pashto word meaning “fort,” and the city is still locally known by its ancient name of Shāl or Shālkot.
The city is the divisional and district headquarters and is an important marketing and communications Centre at the north end of the Shāl Valley about 5,500 feet (1,675 meters) above sea level. It is the southernmost point in a line of frontier posts and the system of strategic roads and railways near the northwest (Afghanistan) border. Commanding the Bolān and Khojak passes, Quetta was occupied by the British in 1876; a residency was founded by Sir Robert Sandeman, and the town developed around its strongly garrisoned army station. Incorporated as a municipality in 1896, its Army Command and Staff College were opened in 1907. A violent earthquake partially destroyed the city in May 1935, with a loss of 20,000 lives. Now a market center for western Afghanistan, eastern Iran, and part of Central Asia, its industries include cotton mills, a sulfur refinery, coke briquetting plants, a thermal power station, and fruit canneries. The city is the site of a geophysical institute, the Geological Survey of Pakistan, the Sandeman Library, and two government colleges affiliated with the University of Peshawar. The University of Balochistan was established in Quetta in 1970. The city is also an important summer resort.
Quetta district is bounded to the north by Pishīn district, to the west by Afghanistan, to the east by Ziārat and Harnāi districts, and to the south by Mastung and Nūshki districts. Quetta district, whose area has been reduced by the government as the population has grown, is geographically small compared with other districts in the province. Physically, it is mostly composed of valleys 1,400–1,700 meters (4,500–5,500 feet) above sea level, but its western edge lies along the foothills of the Central Brāhui range.
History of St. Eugene’s Parish Nawan Killi
St. Eugene’s Parish Nawan Killi Quetta was one of the first and nearest substations of Holy Rosary Cathedral Quetta Cantt. The land measuring about 6000 square feet was bought as Church land by the catholic board under the guidance of Rev.Fr. Yousaf Gill OMI, who was a parish priest then at Holy Rosary Church Quetta. The funds to buy the church land were sanctioned by Bishop Joseph Coutts, Bishop of Hyderabad Diocese. As Quetta directly came under the jurisdiction of Hyderabad Diocese. The beginnings were difficult, problematic, and very challenging to build this church due to the fear of Pathan (Pakhtoon migrants) from Afghanistan. Lack of community management, politics, and having no funds, from any resources was impossible.
The Sri Lankan Oblate missionaries were trying their level best to settle down all hurdles and problems, under the leadership of the Late Rev. Fr. Theogenious OMI, and Rev. Fr. Maximus Fernando OMI. But the matter couldn’t be resolved due to their foreign background and language barrios. Hence the place was considered as disputed or Barron land.
When people lost their hopes a native Punjabi Priest Rev. Fr. Inyate Gill OMI came in and had some meetings with the elders of the community and came up with a common consensus. Under his leadership communications were extended to the Oblate world as well as local government leadership working over there to generate funds, community contribution was collected even the Christian politician was approached. Since the area was thickly populated some self-made groups demanded that this land should be used for dual purpose community hall and church. After several meetings with the community of the area as well as with the Prefect Most Rev. Fr. Victor Gananapergasam OMI nothing concrete was generated no idea was getting into the final decision and shape. Finally Rev. Fr. Inayat Gill OMI the Vicar General to the Apostolic Vicariate of Quetta along with his Catechist Master Rafique Gill met Prefect Fr. Victor Ganapragasam OMI, asking him to rearrange a meeting to come up with some solid solution. On Jan 10th, 2005 a meeting was arranged with a few elders of the area who came up with the idea that let’s first build a Church and a parish house because our people feel difficult to enter into Cantonment for any parish office works. They requested the Prefect and administrator Rev. Fr. Victor Ganapragasam OMI to allow them to build a church with a small parish house. Over that idea, Prefect Apostolic agreed and granted permission to build a Church as well as a parish house for a priest & his catechist to start working over there to give relief to the parishioners. The entire construction work was given to William Bhatti an official contractor for the Prefecture of Quetta.
Confirmation for the construction of the Church
As the permission was granted again an obstacle erupted by a few people belonging to some other denominations who took stay order from the court stating that this land was bought for common good therefore instead of a Church a community hall should be built. After a few considerable meetings, it was decided that let us build it as a hall for community functions. At last, after long a delay, problems, fights, and court stay orders, on June 2005 Foundation Stone for the multipurpose hall at Nawan Killi Quetta, was placed by Mr. Ambrose John Francis MPA Balochistan.
After four months of construction when the Church Hall was fully ready again there was a stay on it, for a few weeks. Later the matter was resolved very quickly and the local government gave this under the care of Apostolic Prefect Rev. Fr. Victor Gananapragasam OMI and the Catholic Church.
Consecration of St. Eugene Church
The first Holy Mass was inaugurated on the feast of St. Eugene De Mazenod on Dec 3rd, 2005, the Apostolic Prefect Rev. Fr. Victor Ganapragasasm OMI was the main celebrant as well as chief guest for the entire program arranged by the faithful of Yohanabad, Zergoonabad, Nawan Killi Quetta. Fr. Victor in his homily thanks God the Almighty Father, His Son Jesus, & Mary His Mother for bringing us unto His home of worship and prayer. He also thank the entire community of the faithful, including the catechist of the area as well as elders of the church. At the end of the Mass, the faithful brought gifts for all the Priests, Nuns, and religious and for the MPA. Ambrose John contributed a lot financially to the building up of St. Eugene’s Church Nawan Killi. After the inauguration and the blessing of the Church, Altar, Ambo, and Presidential Chair there served festive meals for all the faithful.
Thereafter many spriests who served at Holy Rosary Church as assistant parish priests served as an in-charge priests for St. Eugene Parish Nawan Killi Quetta. Among them were Rev. Frs. Roban Bashir, Fr. Nadeem Denial OMI, & Fr. Amanet Chaman OMI, and later Fr. Kashif Ghoori OMI.
On July 3rd, 2022 new parish priest Rev. Fr. Cecil Paul OMI took charge as Parish Priest from Fr. Kashif Ghoori OMI who went to Australia for an Oblate Mission. The St. Eugene Parish Nawan Killi has two main substations, namely Arooj-e-Mariam Roman Catholic Church, and Khatoon-e-Fatima Roman Catholic Church Killi Kotwal. Under the supervision and guidance of Rev. Fr. Cecil Paul OMI, the pastoral team our Catechist Master Ejaz Sadiq & Oblate Scholastic Bro. Adeel Amir OMI surveyed Catholic Census at St. Eugene Parish Nawan Killi Quetta. According to the General Census, 500 catholic families come under the spiritual and pastoral care of St. Eugene Parish. The parish holds good God-fearing, pious, and very devoted catholic families. Most people hold government jobs in Municipality, a few in the Education sector, Police, Health, Agriculture, BNDR, FC, Army, and few have their own business.
Parish Choir, Sunday schools, Parish Youth, Rosary Groups, Parish Security Groups, and Parish Committee are functional and serve according to their assigned responsibilities as well as jurisdictions. The beauty of the parish pastoral team is that every group is asked to arrange a good standard program for the parishioners. The phrase “no man is an island” doesn’t come from the Bible, but it certainly goes along with what the Word of God has to say about people and our need for community. We need each other. We need other Christians in our church to help us work through difficult times in our lives and even to rejoice with us when things are going great. We also need others to help us see areas where we need to grow and to pray for us. When we acknowledge our need for each other and do our best to live in a community with other believers, it lays the foundation for unity.
The Importance of Unity in the Church
Why should we all be working to maintain a sense of unity in our churches? There are a few important reasons. Unity isn’t just a nice bonus or a Christian buzzword. Unity is something to fight for. Why? Because there are some important benefits of unity in the church. To boil it down, unity:
Enriches our lives: Each of us stands to benefit from being part of a unified church. We’re weak on our own, but we’re much stronger together. When we’re unified with other believers, we can learn more, grow more and enjoy the type of community God designed us to be a part of.
Romans 15:5-7 asks God to grant his church harmony or the same attitude of mind, so that we “accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, to bring praise to God.” Note the ultimate goal here. When we’re unified, we bring glory to our Father who desires to see His people living in close fellowship with each other.
Helps our witness:
When Christians are fighting with each other, it can hurt our witness with unbelievers. When we instead commit to church unity, we create a beautiful picture for the world of what it looks like to love others as Christ does. It also points to the perfect harmony God intends for the universe, a harmony that will be restored fully one day.