High Commissioner attends Ceremony of conferment of Benedict Medal to Sister Berchmans


London:  High Commissioner, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, attended the award ceremony for Sister Berchmans in the Westminster Cathedral today.

She was awarded Benedict Medal by St. Mary's University London in recognition of her lifetime teaching in Pakistan.

Sister Berchmans taught for about 65 years at Convents of Jesus and Mary at Lahore, Murree and Karachi. Several prominent Pakistanis and political leaders remained her students.


As a token of respect, many of her old students from Karachi arrived to attend the award ceremony today.

In recognition of her invaluable services in education, the Government of Pakistan awarded Sister Berchmans the prestigious civil award Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam in 2012, when she was Principal of the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi.

Now, in recognition of her services, St Mary's University awarded her the Benedict Medal. The Medal was presented to her by the Cardinal Vincent Nichols during St Mary's Summer Graduation Ceremony.

The High Commissioner, on this occasion, felicitated Sister Berchmans on receiving the Award. He expressed it is a well-deserved award for the invaluable services she rendered over lifetime.


On behalf of the President, the Prime Minister and people of Pakistan, he also expressed deep gratitude to Sister Berchmans for her commitment and dedication to the education of Pakistani children. Mr Zakaria commended her commitment and dedication in promotion of education and interfaith harmony in Pakistan.

Mr Zakaria presented Sister Berchmans a traditional Pakistani handmade Pashmina shawl and a coffee table book entitled: ‘Churches of Pakistan' which she liked very much.

People of Pakistan have deep sense of gratitude and respect for the educational services rendered by the icons like Sr Berchmans and Missionaries in Pakistan. In April this year, the Pakistan High Commission organized a reception to recognize the services of Missionaries in Pakistan.

The High Commissioner thanked the Cardinal for inviting him to the ceremony and presented him the books on Pakistan.

British and Pakistan media present on the occasion interviewed the High Commissioner.

Sister Berchmans has become the fifth recipient and the first woman to be presented with the Benedict Medal for her services in Pakistan.

July 17, 2019

Last updated: July 18, 2019

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