The Oblates of Saint Benedict of Saint Vincent Archabbey have released a book on an Oblate who lost his life for the faith. The story, edited by Father Donald Raila, O.S.B., and Oblates Lora Jacob and Michael Lo Piccolo, is told mostly in the words of Nadeem Feroze, through his email correspondence with Lo Piccolo, and his written correspondence with Father Donald.
Nadeem Feroze was from Pakistan, where the Christian population is estimated between 1.9 percent and 13 percent. While the total Christian population is in dispute, Catholic diocesan records show 2.28 percent of the population as the maximum number of Catholics in the total population of the dioceses in Pakistan. The one fact that is not in dispute is the religious terrorism being conducted against Christians. This is not isolated to this region but sadly is becoming more common throughout the world.
Although there are many untold stories of Christians who have lost their lives, the story of Nadeem Feroze is one story that can be told and serves as a voice for all the other stories that cannot be told—stories of people whose voices have been silenced. Nadeem’s voice is still heard through his emails, which describe his spiritual journey as a Catholic and an Oblate of Saint Benedict, and the daily cross he had to bear as a result.
Nadeem Feroze passed on to the Lord’s embrace in martyrdom as a victim of this terrorism on the 27th of May, 2012. He found the Lord’s calling in his life as a husband, as an Oblate, and as an apostle in spreading God’s Word to the Pakistani community. The dire circumstances under which he lived with constant death threats did not inhibit his dedication to spreading God’s word. This dedication led to his martyrdom.
This story of faith, in Nadeem’s own words, is kept as close as possible to his actual writings to emphasize that English was his second language and to show how he carried his cross.