Catholics start building new church in the Emirates

Catholics in the town of Mussafah in the United Arab Emirates have begun construction on a new church dedicated to St Paul, reports the Catholic News Agency.

Bishop Paul Hinder, OFM, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, recently blessed the church’s foundation stone in the presence of the local Catholic community, including priests and religious missionaries .

'God dwells in each person ... and with faith and love (is) gathering us together in this new church,' Bishop Hinder said. He said he hoped the love of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit will enable the 'speedy' completion of the church, expected to be finished in two years.

Mussafah is an industrial town southwest of the capital  city Abu Dhabi. There are about 3,500 Catholic families and about 15,000 Catholic laborers around Abu Dhabi. Many are guest workers from Africa, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, but some are local Arabs, George Puthussery, press officer for the Abu Dhabi-based Vicariate of Southern Arabia, told CNA.

In 2011, the local government of Abu Dhabi granted a land area of 1.1 acres for the construction of the parish church.

St. Paul’s Church would be the second parish of the Abu Dhabi area. For almost fifty years, St Joseph’s Cathedral has been the only church for Catholics near Abu Dhabi. People travel 23 miles from Mussafah to attend to religious services at St Joseph’s Cathedral.

FULL STORY Catholics to being building new church in the Emirates (CNA)

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