Media Center —
Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia
The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia is a Roman
Catholic apostolic vicariate located in the United Arab Emirates. It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of
the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Oman, United
Arab Emirates, and Yemen. » read more.
Vatican, 18 September, 2013 — Pope Francis greets the bishop during his general audience at St. Peter's Square on 18 September 2013.
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA CHURCH, RAK
On 10 September the new St. Anthony of Padua Church and Centre in the Al Hamra - Al Jazeera area of Ras Al Khaimah have been connected to the electricity network and will be fully operational with immediate effect. The priests are moving to the new residence and new parish offices.
Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis Lumen Fidei, in English, Arabic and French was made public on Friday, 5 July 2013 at 12:00
noon Rome time.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH
Saturday, 29 June 2013 — Mussafah, Abu
Dhabi. Mussafah developed for over 30 years as an industrial area on the mainland south of the city of Abu Dhabi (close to the roads going to Al Ain
and to the Western Region). In the last 15 years big residential areas have been added and many people have moved from the island to Mussafah and the
new suburbs in the airport area.
St. Joseph's Cathedral has been the only church for Abu Dhabi since 1965 (first in Corniche, since 1983 in Al
Mushrif). It was a great joy for the bishop when at the beginning of November 2011 the City Municipality of Abu Dhabi communicated that a piece of
land of 4560 square metres had been granted for the construction of a church and parish. A wish of many years and repeated requests to the authorities
were fulfilled on that day.
The Bishop formed a committee that has been working tirelessly for the last 18 months together with the
consultants. The building contract has been signed and work will begin soon. We are looking forward to having St. Paul's in Mussafah as second parish
of Abu Dhabi City.
On 29 June 2013, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Bishop Paul Hinder blessed the foundation stone on the site of the future St. Paul's Church
in the presence of many priests and sisters, about 300 faithful as well as the architects, engineers and contractors.
Sad news: The father of Fr. Reinhold Sahner died in Germany on 16 March at the age of 89. Fr.
Reinhold left for the funeral on 17 March but will be back for Holy Week.
HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM
Vatican, 13 March 2013 — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the 266th and current pope
of the the Universal Church. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. In 1998 he became
the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI,
on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of
Assisi. He is both the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas. He is also the first pope from outside
Europe since Pope Gregory III in the 8th century. Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958. In 1967,
Bergoglio finished his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969.
Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of
Auca, with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator. Bergoglio
succeeded Cardinal Quarracino as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998 and was concurrently named ordinary for
Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who had lacked their own prelate. At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop
Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino.
Cardinal Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A
simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial
bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation and cooked his own meals.
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican, 10 February, 2013 — "To the surprise of everyone Pope Benedict announced last Monday in a meeting with the
Cardinals that on 28 February at 8 pm he will resign as Bishop of Rome and as Pope of the Universal Church. From that
moment onward the See of Saint Peter will be vacant until a new Pope is elected in March in time for the celebrations of
Holy Week and Easter. In retirement Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, Bishop Emeritus of Rome will serve the Church through a
life dedicated to prayer.
Benedict XVI made this decision in full freedom, giving as reasons
his advanced age and diminishing health. Admiring his courage and thankful for his wise leadership for almost 8 years
let us pray for him and for the election of a good successor for the chair of Saint Peter."
Attached find the text of the Holy Father's announcement (in English; look for the other seven languages on vatican.va, Pope Benedict, Speeches, 2013, February) and the notification in English and Arabic received from the Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait.
Blessing of Foundation Stone of St.
Joseph's Parish Extension
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 19 January, 2013 — in the evening Bishop Paul Hinder, in the
presence of many priests, sisters and faithful as also representatives of the building committee and consultancy firm
blessed the foundation stone of the large extension to be constructed at St. Joseph Cathedral in place of the recently demolished
parish hall, parish offices, priests' and staff quarters. The first phase of construction will not affect the present
church (in use since 1983), Bishop's House, Sisters' Residence and School. »view
Annual Meeting of all the Priests in Dubai
Dubai, UAE, 14-17 January, 2013 — Bishop Paul Hinder, the Apostolic Nuncio Petar Rajic and 51 priests of UAE, Oman and Yemen held the annual meeting to get
the report of 2012 and to discuss pastoral matters and development questions. The total number of priests in the
southern vicariate is now 56, an increase of 5 over last year.
In June the new St. Anthony of
Padua Church will be blessed in Ras Al Khaimah. The construction of the parish extension of St. Joseph Cathedral Abu
Dhabi and of a new parish St. Paul in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi will begin early this year. The health of the Bishop is improving and by March
he will be back to normal duty.
Bishop Paul Hinder
Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 2012 — after difficulties at the evening Mass of the
Immaculate Conception of Mary, in Al Ain, and a sleepless night bishop Paul was admitted to the Sheikh Khalifa Medical
City in Abu Dhabi in the morning of 9 December. He was found with a blocked artery in the posterior/inferior part of the
heart, and taken to the Cath Lab and operated upon immediately. The timely intervention was successful and the bishop is
out of danger.
Fr. Gandolf is in regular
contact with him and has visited him several times; he confirms that the bishop is fully conscious but tired. He is now
back home from the hospital.
Please pray for him, but it is highly advised not to visit him,
nor to bombard him with messages and emails. Rest is what he needs most for a speedy recovery.
Bishop Paul sends each of you his greetings and blessings.
Yemen - Salesian Jubilee
Yemen - September 2012 - Bishop Paul Hinder visited Yemen which is part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern
Arabia. He met the five Salesian priests from India, the more than 20 Missionaries of Charity (Bl. Mother
Teresa) and the Catholic communities in the capital Sana'a, in Aden, Hodeidah and Taiz. The Christian communities
are small and getting smaller because of the difficult economic and political situation in the country.
Jubilee celebration: 25 years ago the first Salesian priests of Chennai Province arrived in
Yemen, the oldest mission in the Gulf, for more than 150 years entrusted to the Capuchin Fathers. Aden was the See of
the Apostolic Vicar of Arabia from 1888 until 1974, when it was transferred to Abu Dhabi, the fast growing capital of
the newly established United Arab Emirates.
Bishop Paul Hinder, the Salesian Provincial Fr.
Thomas Anchukandam, the outgoing and incoming Regional Superiors of the Missionaries of Charity Sr. Benedetta and Sr.
Rio, some retired missionaries, the priests, sisters and faithful were present for the Jubilee Celebrations in Sana'a.
The bishop thanked the Salesian priests for their hard work and perseverance in times of isolation and insecurity.
Fr. Mathew Vadacherry was the first Salesian to arrive in Yemen. On 13 August 1987, he took charge of the Parish at
Taiz and had the additional charge of Hodeidah, too. From then on 15 Salesians have worked in Yemen and gone back to the
province. Three of them have gone for their eternal reward: Fr. Jacob Kizhakkeyil who died on 20.12.1994, Fr. Benedict
Vadacherry who died on 5.3.2009 and Fr. C. K. Jose who died on 2.8. 2011. The longest serving missionary in Yemen is Fr.
George Pudussery and has been here since 1989. He is the delegate of the Bishop.
Abu Dhabi - A year when prayer and reflection may be easier to combine with the intelligence of faith, which must be
urgent and necessary for all. We cannot allow for believers to rush in various fields of science in order to make their
work more professional, thus finding themselves with a weak and insufficient knowledge of the faith. An unforgivable
imbalance which does not permit our personal identity to grow and which prevents us from giving accountability to the
Launching of official logo of ACYC2012 with
picture of the logo
Abu Dhabi -10 August 2012. ACYC2012 - the second Catholic Youth
Conference in ARABIA, planned for 15 - 17 November 2012 in Abu Dhabi, was officially launched by Bishop Paul Hinder in
the compound of St. Joseph's Cathedral.
an excellent programme of dances, music and a short play the link to the successful first ACYC in Dubai was made through
video flashes; Clyde Nunes was declared the winner of the logo competition; the logo was revealed and its meaning
described. The Bishop himself explained the theme of the conference "All things are possible for one who believes" taken
from Mark 9, 24.
Abu Dhabi - 6 August 2012. Holy Spirit Interactive - Definitive Statutes approved by Bishop. H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder
signed the definitive statutes of HSI, which two years ago he established as a public lay association of faith and
outreach of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, based in Dubai. Mr. Aneel Aranha is the founder and moderator.
With the permission of the respective bishops HSI has opened schools of evangelisation in different parts of the
Abu Dhabi - 4 August 2012. Release of the Booklet "Coming Home to the Father's Embrace - A Guide to the
Sacrament of Confession", prepared and published by the Community of Grace, Dubai. Mr. John John and Mr. Aby Mathew from Dubai presented the first
copies of the very practical and useful 84-page booklet to H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder and Fr. Lennie Connully, the Vicar
General, in the Bishop's office in Abu Dhabi.
The Feast of Our Lady Of Arabia will be celebrated on Sunday, 15 January.
The devotion to Our Lady of Arabia (Patroness and Protector of the Oilman) started on 8 December, 1948 in the
oil town of Ahmadi, Kuwait.
The history of this devotion shows that favours have been granted
which compare with those bestowed by Our Lady at other famous shrines.
An Italian firm in
Rome, "Rosa and Zanzio Ditta" carved the statue out of a solid block of cedar from Lebanon. The Holy Father, Pope Pius
XII, himself gave a grand lead to this devotion to Our Lady of Arabia, and on 17 December, 1949, on the eve of the Great
Jubilee Year, in the Vatican Palace, he personally blessed the new Statue of Our Lady of Arabia.
The two crowns (for Our Lady and the Baby Jesus in her arms) are finely chiseled, weigh over two pounds of pure gold,
and are adorned with diamonds and rubies, other precious stones, and a large pearl of the Gulf. The two precious crowns
were blessed on 17 March, 1960 by H.H. Pope John XXIII.
Prayer to Our Lady of
Arabia. O Mary, dear Mother, we call thee 'Our Lady of Arabia' to ask for thy
blessing upon this country, and for thy loving protection on us. Keep ever thy child near Jesus in the happiness of
sanctifying grace. We pray that Our Lady of Arabia may hear our prayers, and by her peace
make happy a world shaken by discord, and after our earthly exile show unto us all, Jesus, Who will be our eternal peace
and joy. Amen.