June 3, 2015
20 May 2015 (Abu Dhabi).
The first Catholic Church in the UAE, St. Joseph’s Abu Dhabi, was opened in February 1965, and March 2015 marked the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the event. The Ruling Family of the Emirate has always been generous and it was their graciousness in donating a piece of land to build a place of worship that thousands of faithful even today can enjoy a place of prayer and sanctuary.
50 years later, yet again we have experienced the kindness and open-handedness of the Rulers of the Emirate in the inauguration of the second Catholic Church dedicated to St. Paul in Abu Dhabi’s industrial district of Musaffah. His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister for Youth, Culture and Community Development will inaugurate the Church and premises on Thursday June 11 at 7.30 pm in the presence of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of Pope Francis, Archbishop Petar Rajic, the Papal Nuncio and Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula and Bishop Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia. The Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs, H.E. Sheikh Ali Al Hashemi is also expected to be present along with other dignitaries, officials of the civil authorities, municipality, consultants and contractors.
This will be followed by the blessing of the Church in a solemn liturgical celebration on Friday, June 12 at 10 am with the Catholic community of Abu Dhabi. Nearly five thousand people are expected to attend.
The name of St. Paul has great significance in the history of the Catholic Church in the Gulf which is dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul who together laid the foundations of Christianity in the first century. The Apostle Paul was sent by Jesus Christ to bear His Name to the nations and was named by Jesus as a ‘Vessel of Election’, thus signifying his special commission to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ. Christians throughout the centuries gratefully remember this Apostle for the enduring foundations he laid for the practice of the Christian Faith. The Apostle Paul is also the patron saint of Bishop Paul Hinder, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, who recently completed a decade of fruitful service as the shepherd of Catholics in the UAE, Oman and Yemen.
On this occasion, the Catholics in Abu Dhabi wish to express their sincere gratitude to the rulers of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE; following the traditions laid by St. Paul, this Church will be indeed a place where
“petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for everyone, including the citizens of this country and its rulers, for their peace and prosperity”
(1 Timothy 2:1-2) will be offered by worshippers to God.
The location map of the new church can be found