The Oblates of Saint Benedict of Saint Vincent Archabbey have released a book on an Oblate for 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 in Pakistan 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.
Rev. Donald Raila is a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey. He has been director of Oblates since 1988. During that time he has written quarterly letters to the community of Oblates and Friends of Saint Vincent Archabbey. These letters formed the basis for the collection Lessons from Saint Benedict: Finding Joy in Daily Life a series of 26 letters written by Father Donald. A Study Guide to Lessons from Saint Benedict has also been published. He is also editor of the book, The Rule in Bits and Pieces, a collection of over 140 reflections covering every chapter of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict. His other book is Nadeem Feroze: Oblate of Saint Benedict, Pakistani, Defender of the Faith. This book, Joy in the Life of a Follower of St. Benedict: An Exploration of Joy in Lent and in the Whole of Christian Life, is scheduled to be released in fall of 2022.