Divine Mercy Home Maleer Karachi
Divine Mercy Home
In this Country there is a large number of destitute and mentally retarded. Mental Retardation (MR) refers to substantial limitations in present functioning. It starts before age 18 and is characterized by significantly subaverage intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more of the following applicable adaptive skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, work communication and self-care. We are fortunate to have Divine Mercy Home for them in District, Malir Karachi. Mariam Bugeja, a Maltese lady, affectionatelay known as Baji Mariam, inaugurated the Home in January 2004. There are today more than 45 patients in Divine Mercy Home which is recently taken by Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in July 2019 and She was happy to hand over the responsibility of these innocent people to look after them in all their needs such as physical, medical and psychological.
This is undoubtedly one of the mercy works to make God’s mercy a reality on this earth. Though this taken by the Oblates but it is important know a bit about this great lady and his endeavors for this home for destitutes.
Miriam Bugeja ( Baji Mariam)
(A short history about her and Divine Mercy Home)
Miriam Bugeja came as a young woman to serve the Lord in Pakistan, in 1982. She began in Lahore where the Lord show her the way where she is needed the most and it was to “ Set the captives free” She set about this task visiting the jails of the Punjab. The lord blessed her work and she was able to obtain the release of many people languishing needlessly incarcerated. The Foriengners among these, mainly Indians and Banglaseshis, she repatriated; the Pakistani found their own way home. Another Saint Mother Teresa in Pakistani Context. She had always in abudance to look after the material needs of her People in Divine Mercy. God has always provided her through God fearing people who make God’s Kingdom present here on earth. In 1999, on the request of the Superior General of the Sisters of St. Jean d’Antide she gave this ministry to them since it is there charism too. She gave all to them gladly.
Baji then took her ministry to Sindh and Balochistan, travelling to all the jails between Karachi and Quetta. And here again God gave her success as before: There were much repatriation and there was a new home for Home. This home began with seventeen people. This place (present in Malir) was to be sold to a Muslim. As one of the FMM Nun happened to say in her hearing, “ Our Convent in Malir, Karachi is set to be sold to a Muslim. How I wish it went to a Christian Institution!” Baji Thought: Convent? The Blessed Sacrament must be there! I am sure God is asking me to keep it there. In no time the deed was done, the 6.4 million rupees price came in and was paid over. How? The motto of the Home says it all: With God nothing is impossible.
Once she was asked by the interviewer in 2016 by Fr. Sajjad Manzoor OMI (Extract from the interview)
Sajjad: How did you start your mission and why in Pakistan?
Baji Mariam: It was God’s plan contrary to my plan who wanted me to work here whereas I wanted to work elsewhere. But I accepted it as God willed.
Sajjad: Since your institute is named after Divine Mercy as Divine Mercy Home, what would you say about mercy of God with regard to your experience and your connection with this people with mental retardation?
Baji Mariam: Brother, they are very innocent majority of them don’t understand as we do but they are quite sensible in many ways. As far as my experience is concerned I always experienced God’s mercy even while buying this place. It was His mercy and assistance that I got helped through different people and one of them was Fr. Stager a Mill Hill priest ( Working in Islamabad/Rawalpindi Diocese) to buy this place for Divine Mercy Home. When I relate with these people I feel one cannot be merciful if he/she does not feel the pain of others. Therefore we are invited to be compassionate. I believe these people need more attention, love, mercy and care.
This was an extract from the interview but speaks a million words for the dire need of having compassionate heart for these in all sorts of possible needs, to see and experience the suffering Christ in them.
(This report is based on available documents and personal encounter with Baji Miriam by Sajjad Manzoor OMI)