News » CELEBRATION OF THE SOLEMNITY OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. JOSEPH’S CATHEDRAL ON FEBRUARY 25, 2020

CELEBRATION OF THE SOLEMNITY OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. JOSEPH’S CATHEDRAL ON FEBRUARY 25, 2020

 

St. Joseph's Cathedral is the seat of the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Msgr. Paul Hinder and is one of the four Catholic churches in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi besides the St. Paul's Church in Musaffah, St. Mary's Church in Al Ain and St. John the Baptist Church in Ruwais. The first Church was built in 1962 in the present Corniche on a plot of land donated by Sheikh Shakhbut, the ruler of Abu Dhabi.

 

The foundation for St. Joseph’s Church was laid in 1962. In October 1963, work began for the First Church in Abu Dhabi, and the foundation stone was blessed in February 1964, on a plot of land along the present Corniche, donated by H.H. Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi at that time. Fr. Barnabas Madii undertook the task of constructing the Church and a residence for the priests, and on 19 February 1965, the first Church was inaugurated.

 

On 19 March 1981, the foundation for the present Church was laid, following the ruler’s decision that the Church and its associated schools be moved to a different location. The inauguration of the new complex took place on 25 February 1983, in the presence of Sheikh Shakhbut. On February 25, 1983, the Church became a Cathedral serving as the seat of The Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia with the late Bishop Bernard G. Gremoli as resident bishop.

 

On January 30, 2005, upon Gremoli's retirement, Bishop Paul Hinder, OFM Cap., was ordained bishop.

 

The parish today has over 100,000 expatriate Catholics from all over the world. With the growing economy within the region, the Church also witnessed a steady increase in the number of faithful. Masses are celebrated in several different languages, and the Church is generally seen packed to full capacity at most services.

 

The Bishop's House and St Joseph's School (Abu Dhabi) are located within the same compound and recently there has been some renovation.

 

A significant section of the parish complex was demolished at the beginning of 2013 to give way for the construction of new halls/ catechetical rooms/ offices/ residence for priests and staff, Today this newly constructed part is known as St. Therese of The Child Jesus Church.

 

Masses are conducted in various languages, reflecting the population of expatriates in the country, primarily English but also Arabic, Tagalog, Malayalam, Sinhalese, Urdu, Konkani, Tamil, and French. February 25th is the Solemnity of the Dedication of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. 7 pm mass will be in the Cathedral. 




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