People in Pakistan know of a De La Salle Brother who has done groundbreaking work as a missionary in education and spreading the Gospel.
Br. Zafar Daud is a noted person in Pakistan. He is a member of the De La Salle Brothers, who are also known as the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
He has worked hard for more than 35 years to keep Lasallian history alive in Pakistan.
He became a member of the congregation that Jean-Baptiste de La Salle founded in France in 1680. Br. Zafar is the oldest De La Salle Brother from Pakistan.
For 19 years, he has given his whole life to St. Albert's Catholic Teachers' College (CTC), which is in the rural area of Khushpur in Punjab Province, in the central-eastern region of Pakistan.
For him, St. Albert's is important. It was set up in the 1950s by Dominican priests.
The De La Salle Brothers took over the management in 1965. Since then, they have played an important role in training catechists for Catholic parishes across the country.
In 1994, Br. Zafar started working at St. Albert's as a teacher. Two years later, when he was only 28, he became the college's first director. He has seen a lot of progress and success over the years.
In 1997, as many as 75 young men from different regions came to the college to get training.
With Br. Zafar's help, the college added more classes, changed the curriculum, and gave students more power through hands-on activities in liturgy, teaching the catechism, and outreach programs.
But he influenced more than just St. Albert's. The locals had been asking for a long time for La Salle High School Khushpur to open, and Br. Zafar made it happen in 2004. These days, the school has more than 500 students.
From 2005 to 2016, he was also the head of La Salle Higher Secondary School Multan. As principal, he made changes to the school's finances and the learning spaces to make sure that the students got the best education possible.
With Br. Zafar in charge, St. Albert's has continued to turn out dedicated and knowledgeable catechists who spread the Gospel all over Pakistan.
In fact, since 2017, up to 89 catechists have graduated and gone back to their parishes to help people grow in their faith and with pastoral work.
This school year, 2023, there are 26 students in their last year of training in the third year. There are also 23 students in the second year and 21 students in the first year. Thirteen of the students are married, and their wives are full-time members of the Literacy Center who learn.
The Lasallian-run CTC has 71 trainee catechists right now, and 13 of them are married. (The married women go to the Literacy Center to learn and study.)
Since his time as director is almost over, Br. Zafar is happy and satisfied as he looks back on his service.
He thanks God for allowing him to teach and see his students do amazing things for church and society in Pakistan, a Muslim-majority country where Christians are a minority.
Br. Zafar made a big difference by starting the "Cooking School" for male teens and young adults ages 16 to 22.
He is proud of the Cooking School boys' progress, as they have all found good jobs.
Many of them went on to get well-paying jobs afterward. The Literacy Center, which underwent reconstruction in the 2000s, is responsible for running the school. The living quarters for married trainees were also fixed up.
His unwavering dedication and willingness to take risks have had a long-lasting effect on the lives of many people.
It is great that Br. Zafar is dedicated to the Lasallian work in Pakistan and has inspired others through his missionary work.
“By God's help,” Br. Zafar said, "I feel happy that I was able to serve for 19 years at the training centre."
"Being a missionary in Pakistan is a fulfilling job. I am glad to hear that our students are spreading the Gospel in Pakistan. Even the boys from the Cooking School have great jobs,” he added.
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