Lahore: November 24, 2017. (By Sunil John) A Peace Sports Festival was organized by the National Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (Catholic Bishops Conference Pakistan) in association with different schools. This festival was held in accordance with the Peace Education Programme of NCIDE.
His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM (Chairman NCIDE) was the Chief Guest of the Programme whereas Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap (Executive Secretary NCIDE), Fr. Adnan Kashif OFM Cap, Moulana Sayyed Mufti Ashiq Hussain and Hafiz Muhammad Arif Noori accompanied him for this Peace Sports Festival.
A number of Muslim and Christian students took part in this Peace Sports Festival. The ceremony began with a Peace Marathon, in which students from 10 schools took part. The students ran for peace as much as they could, and spread the message of peace wherever they passed by. They expressed their desire for a Peaceful society through this practical effort.
The purpose of this Peace Sports Festival was to promote harmony among all school children of different faiths and to give the message of peace throughout the country, and to teach the children to become the
Ambassadors of peace.
The students presented beautiful games and performances during the programme. They amused the guests and the audience with their God given talents of sports and team work. The visitors cited these efforts of the students.
On this occasion, the Chief Guest, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, in his speech highlighted the importance of games for students for the promotion of interfaith harmony, restoration of peace and progress of the country. He urged the students to be Ambassadors of Peace and cultivate the values of love, forbearance and forgiveness in society.
The Muslim leaders present on this occasion appreciated the good will gesture of harmony through sports and encouraged the students to learn the greater ethics and spread them through their actions. On this occasion Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap advised children to foster peace and harmony not only within their families but also in their neighborhoods so that peace may prevail in our society. He advised children to be a role model for the elders who do not realize the importance of love and peace and are harboring the feelings of hatred and discrimination in the society.
During the peace March children were chanting slogans we want peace, no to hatred and yes to peace. Children released pigeons and balloons in the air as the symbols of peace and brotherhood. The winners of different games and marathon were awarded with trophies and certificates.
The Closing ceremony was held at St. Anthony High School, Lahore, among the guests of honour were; Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap (Executive Secretary NCIDE) the Principal of the St. Anthony High School, Mr. Shahid Ambrose Mughal, Moulana Asim Makhdoom, Allama Arif Chishti, Mr. Robinson Aziz and Hafiz Rashid.
A number of students of different schools took part in different games. Electronic and print media were also present to spread the message of children who were chanting the slogans, requesting their elder politicians and leaders: Please Teach us how to live in peace.
On this occasion, Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap told the students that next year we shall organize this Peace Sports Festival throughout the country from Peshawar to Karachi.
In the end the prizes were distributed among children.