The second Catholic Church to be opened in Abu Dhabi, one of the United Arab Emirates, was inaugurated by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, last Thursday, and will enable thousands of Roman Catholics to have access to Mass and weekly services, reported Vatican Radio.
St Paul’s Church is in the Musaffah industrial area of Abu Dhabi, while the Emirate’s other Catholic Church is Joseph’s Cathedral in Al Mushrif. Prior to the opening of St. Paul’s, many Catholics from the Musaffah and surrounding area had to travel some 25 kilometers to reach St. Joseph’s for Mass.
There are nearly 1 million Catholics in the United Arab Emirates, made up of mostly migrant workers from South and East Asia.
St. Paul’s will have 1200 seats for its faithful. It is expected to have daily services in English, weekly services in Arabic, Malayalam and Tagalog, bimonthly service in Tamil and monthly service in Konkani.
Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, said, “We thank the rulers for providing an attractive environment where Christians feel accepted and are able to live their own identity and to practice their religious beliefs.”
“The mission of the Church is to do everything possible to foster the human capital of the Christian faithful and to make them strong in the pursuit of truth and moral behavior and thus able to better serve the country.”