Christ the King Seminary (Pakistan)

Christ the King Seminary is a Roman Catholic seminary in Karachi. It is located adjacent to the Portiuncula Friary. In its early years most of the faculty were provided by the Franciscans. It has been described as “the pioneering theological institution for the Catholic Church in Pakistan.”[1]

The high-water mark of the seminary's 50-year existence was the recruitment of 98 seminarians for the class that entered in 1990.


When the seminary started in 1956 it had only four students. Among them was Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, who later went on to become its Rector. Other alumni include the Archbishop of Karachi Evarist Pinto,[2] Bishop Anthony Theodore Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Bishop Andrew Francis of Multan, and the late Bishop John Joseph of Faisalabad and Bishop Patras Yusaf of Multan.

Fifty years on, the seminary has graduated 780 students from Pakistan and abroad, some coming from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. It also expanded over the decades, adding a grassy field for soccer and cricket, a basketball court, a pavilion, a retreat center and a Marian grotto with a fountain.

The National Catholic Institute of Theology (NCIT) was established at the seminary in September 1997, offering academic courses leading to a diploma in theology, as well as programs for laypeople and Religious involved in Church ministries. At the Institute students can now obtain a Bachelor of Theology degree from Melbourne University due to the efforts of Yarra Theological Union and the Melbourne College of Divinity.[3]


In 1994 the philosophy studies program for seminarians was separated from the theology program and moved to the St. Francis Xavier Seminary in the Lahore archdiocese.

In addition to dwindling vocations, the seminary has had to deal with a shortage of drinking water over the last 10 years, exacerbated by local authorities appropriation, without compensation, of its old well in November 2005 for the Lyari Expressway project.

The expressway project is part of Karachi's "Cleaning the City" drive, which the Asian Human Rights Commission says has rendered thousands homeless. It adds that 11,000 houses and 3,100 commercial buildings outside the path of the expressway have been evacuated and demolished.

Since 2008 the seminary has been hosting the Cardinal Cordeiro Cricket tournament to promote religious vocations and remember Pakistan’s first cardinal. In 2010 there are 43 students from all six dioceses and the Apostolic Prefecture of Quetta.[4]

In 2010, a grant from Aid to the Church in Need was made to the Seminary where it will be used for library books and new air conditioning units.[5]

In 2011 there were 24 seminarians in the institution.[6] By 2014 this had risen to 40.[7]

On May 4, 2012 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed Fr. Benjamin Shahzad as Rector of the Seminary.[8]


Fr. Innocent Laurensse OFM - - 1971[9]

Fr. Anslem Moons OFM - 1971 - 1974

Fr. Lawrence Saldanha - 1974 - 1979[10]

Fr. Emmanuel Asi- 1979 - 1988[11]

Fr. Arnold Heredia – 1988 - 1993[12]

Fr. Inayat Bernard- 1993 - 2004[13]

Fr. Rufin Anthony- 2004 - 2005[14]

Fr. Augustine Soares- 2005 - 2012[15]

Fr. Benjamin Shahzad- 2012 –


Richard D'Souza [26]

Andrew Francis[27]

Joseph Coutts

Raymond Saeed

Theophilus D'Souza [28]

Thomas Gulfam[29]

Javed Nazar

Arthur Charles

Sebastian Francis Shah

Zacharia Ghouri [30]

Khalid Yusaf [31]

James Channan[32]

Joseph Arshad[33]

Benny Travas[34]

Benjamin Shehzad [35]

Nazar Nawab[36]

Edward Joseph [37]

Younan Shahzad [38]

Saleh Diego [39]

Mario Rodrigues[40]

Francis Nadeem

Andrew Nisari [41]

George Ibrahim [42]

Samson Dilawar[43]

Aftab James Paul[44]

Emmanuel Yousaf Mani[45]

George Daniel[46]

Inayat Patras [47]

Khalid Rashid [48]

Pervez Khalid [49]


  1. Hedlund, RE, et al. The Oxford Encyclopaedia of South Asian Christianity. Oxford University Press 2011
  2. "New rector appointed for Christ the King major seminary in Karachi".
  3. "Growing Living Stones".
  4. UCANews September 17, 2010
  5. Catholic News Agency December 22, 2010
  6. UCANews December 5, 2011
  7. Aid to the Church in Need August 21, 2014
  8. Agenzia Fides 18 December 2012
  9. Camps, Arnulf. Studies in Asian mission history, 1956-1998. Brill, The Netherlands, 2000
  11. "Teaching theology to Christians and Muslims".
  12. "Pakistan Christians Acquitted Of Blasphemy".
  13. "Ecumenical Graduate Fellowship Helps Students".
  14. "Dominican Friars Celebrate 75 Years".
  15. "Major seminary celebrates golden jubilee".
  16. "Blasphemy Law in Pakistan".
  17. "Same-Sex Marriages In Canada".
  18. "Major seminary celebrates golden jubilee".
  19. "Christmas festivities begin tonight".
  20. "6 killed in attack".
  21. "Rev. Adrian Pereira Remembered".
  22. "Time has not changed Advani's alma mater". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 5 June 2005.
  23. "Rev. Rufino Anthony appointed rector".
  24. Martyris, Nina (23 March 2004). "Old school ties Musharraf, Advani". The Times Of India.
  25. Chittagong Diocese website accessed 23 November 2012
  26. "Taliban attack Christians in Karachi".
  27. "Muslims and Christians join in prayer for the victims of London bomb blasts".
  28. Church mourns loss of modern Moses, Fr. Theo THE CHRISTIAN VOICE Vol. LVI No. 4l Karachi, October 19, 2008
  29. " March 2, 2009".
  30. "Seminarians in Pakistan Gain Inspiration".
  31. "New rector for St. Francis Xavier Seminary".
  32. " April 25, 2008".
  33. Vatican Radio July 3, 2013
  34. Times of India August 16, 2015
  35. "UCANEWS 18 April 2008".
  36. " January 28, 2009".
  37. "More than one thousand Catholics in Karachi prepare for Christmas together".
  38. "The Eucharist at the centre of life and faith in Pakistan".
  39. "Caritas".
  40. "Call for Peace and Prayer in Pakistan".
  41. "Pastoral Letter Of Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha".
  42. "29 Catholic Missionaries Killed This Year".
  43. "Catholic News Service November 18, 2005".
  44. "Priests speak up for Kashmir peace and freedom 13 February 2009".
  45. "= 29 May 2009".
  46. "'Railway Church' Extension Blessed Associated Press 7 October 2007".
  47. "Discriminated against Christians at the forefront of Kashmir quake aid".
  48. "A missionary Advent for the Pakistani Church".
  49. "Taliban attack Christians in Karachi".

External links

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