On February 5, 2019, before leaving the residence, Pope Francis greeted the staff of Al Mushrif Palace, the apostolic nuncio in the United Arab Emirates and the apostolic delegate for the Arabian Peninsula, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, with family members, and a group of Capuchin Friars and priests of the vicariate, accompanied by Bishop Paul Hinder, O.F.M. Cap., apostolic vicar of Southern Arabia. He then transferred by car to St. Joseph’s Cathedral, one of the two Catholic Churches of Abu Dhabi.
Upon arrival, the Pope was greeted by the apostolic vicar of Southern Arabia, the vicar general, and the parish priest. Then, while a hymn was sung, Pope Francis entered the Cathedral in procession, where he was awaited by a representation of the Catholic community made up of around 300 faithful. Bishop Hinder presented the community of faithful present to the Pope who, addressing a brief greeting to them, affirmed that for him it is a great joy to visit young Churches such as the one present in the Emirates, and thanked the faithful for their witness.
After placing on the altar a floral tribute donated to him by a family, and following a brief moment of contemplation, Pope Francis blessed those present and then traveled by car to the Zayed Sports City for the celebration of Holy Mass.