The Catholic Church in Pakistan mourned the death of Italian missionary priest Aldino Amato, a 90-year-old Dominican who died of COVID-19 last week.
The priest spent 60 years of his life serving in several communities in Pakistan, especially in the cities of Khushpur, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Chichawatni, and Okara.
“I thank God for the life and works of Father Beloved,” said Bishop Indrias Rehmat of Faisalabad. “He was a great priest and missionary,” said the prelate during the priest’s funeral service.
Bishop Rehmat cited Father Amato’s dedication to the priestly ministry, his efforts to promote education among the poor, and his care for the sick and the blind.
“When I learned the news of Father Beloved, some words of Ruth in the Scriptures came to mind: ‘Where you go I will go too, and where you stay I too will stay, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried,’” said the bishop.
He said Father Amato “shared our pains and joys, and his death here in Pakistan was a testimony to the commitment with which he gave his whole life to our people.”
The Dominican priest arrived as a missionary in Pakistan in 1962. Through the years, he built churches, schools, and hostels with particular attention to the blind.
Father Younus Shahzad, head of the vice-province of Dominicans in Pakistan, said Father Amato was “tireless in his work” and was “like a tree that with its shadow offered refreshment to those who were tired and needy.”