Rev. Fr. Rehmat Raja very simple person with a pure heart has left the world after serving for 44 years as a priest and 50 years as a Dominican in Ibn-e-Mariam Vice Province in Pakistan.
He was born on 28th of October 1950, was professed on 8th December 1970 and was ordained priest on 20th April 1976.
He was 6th one among 6 brothers and two sisters, he has Fr. Thomas Bhatti, another brother serving as a Dominican Priest in Pakistan. He was a great pastor, influential and motivational preacher, long standing writer, translator and truly emerged in the local culture.
Beside Punjabi and Urdu as his first and basic languages, he was expert in English, Italian, Spanish, German and French. He was a very good writer and had a concern for the education of youth; he served 36 years in Bahawalpur and then in Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Karachi.
He lived his life according to the traditions of Dominican and used to spend at least 4 hours in reading and was well aware about the current situation of Pakistan and the whole world.
Rev. Fr. Younus Shahzad, Dominican priest and provincial of Ibn-e-Mariam Vice Province in his homily at the funeral had said that Fr. Rehmat Raja beloved Dominican Friar is born to heaven after spending 70 years in this world.
We thank him for his 50 years of commitment as a religious and dedicated services as a priest. He served as a true worrier of Christ Jesus and fought a good fight for the vineyard of the Lord.
He had passion for saving the souls like St. Dominic, his services in the field of Formation, Justice and Peace, Muslim Christian Dialogue, translation of various books and church documents, his writing contribution in the form of books and hundreds of articles printed in Catholic Naqib, his in-depth study and sharing of new ideas will always be remembered.
Fr. Shahzad also said that it will take long time to fill the vacuum he left by his departure. We all the Dominicans are saddened but Jesus’ promise of eternal life gives us deep consolation and hope.
brother Fr Thomas Bhatti OP and entire Dominican Family of priests, deacons, brothers, Nuns, and Sisters in Pakistan.
Fr. Thomas Bhatti brother of diseased Fr. Rehmat Raja in his comments had thanked the congregation of Bahawalpur for accepting and honoring him in their church, and all the priors who served him in his last days of life.
Fr. Rehmat Raja used to say that he wants to die as a faithful and dedicated priest and die in his shows.
At the end of the Mass both the bishops, His Excellency Benny Travas Bishop of Multan Diocese and His Excellency Dr. Indrias Rehmat Bishop of Faisalabad diocese along with all priests followed the Dominican Tradition and Sang “Salve Regina” at the eternal departure of Fr. Rehmat Raja, O.P.