Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi

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Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi, is situated on Shahrah-e-Iraq, formerly known as Clarke Street, located near the Empress Market in Karachi, Pakistan.

The first church in Sindh (except for possibly one in Thatta) was initially built on the grounds of this cathedral in 1845, and was called St. Patrick’s Church. It was in April 1881 that the present cathedral was opened, since the Christian community grew in number, and the need for a larger place of worship became apparent. Despite the construction of the new building, the little church continued to function until it was destroyed by a storm in 1885.

The present-day cathedral is built in Gothic style; it measures 52 metres by 22 metres, and has the capacity to accommodate at least 1,500 worshippers at the same time. It was designed by three members of the Society of Jesus: Father Wagner, Brother Kluver and Brother Lau.

The Gazetteer of the Province of Sindh provides a description of the cathedral:

In 1978 the cathedral celebrated its centenary. The Pakistan Post Office issued special commorative stamps on the occasion. Pope John Paul I sent special greetings and blessings on the occasion.

A bomb exploded inside the Cathedral causing an injury and destruction. The explosion on December 22, 1998, occurred minutes after the congregation celebrated Mass. Most people had departed when the bomb went off. One woman was wounded and there was partial damage to the interior of the 120-year-old Cathedral.

The cathedral's grounds are adorned with a marble monument of Christ the King, which was constructed in 1931 to commemorate the memory of the Jesuit Mission in Sindh. The Parish Priest in 1999 was Father Edward Joseph.

In 2003, the cathedral was declared as a protected monument because of its outstanding architectural beauty under the Sindh Cultural Heritage Protection Act. The Parish Priest at the time was Fr. Joseph D’Mello.

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