"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Catholic Church is very much alive and legal in the Middle East. How about your sect?

St. Joseph's Parish Centre inaugurated by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan, Culture Minister, UAE

Abu Dhabi [News Karnataka]: The newly constructed St. Joseph’s Parish Centre was inaugurated by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development at a ceremony held on October 9th at 7.30 p.m. The event was also attended by H.E. Ali Al Hashimi, Religious Consellor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and a few other government officials of Abu Dhabi.

At the invitation of H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder (OFM Cap), Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, present on the occasion were H.E. Archbishop Petar Rajic, Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula and H.E. Bishop Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia. Also present were Fr. Savarimuthu, Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Abu Dhabi, all the Assitant priests and a host of priests from various parishes of the United Arab Emirates.

Dignitaries arrived at the venue at 7.30pm. The compere, Roydon D'mello welcomed the congregation present and invited the Chief Guest, H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan to open the centre by cutting the red ribbon on the main door. Upon declaring open the new structure, the guests walked into the Parish Hall along with the representatives of the Consultant and Contracting firms who were instrumental in erecting the remarkable new building as the Choir sang ‘This is the day that the Lord has made’.

John Conrad, the Vice President of the Parish Council invited the guests and the congregation saying this is a ‘Dream come true’ venture of many parishioners. He also attributed the success of the event amid laud applauds from the congregation to the Late President H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the founder of this dream of the Catholic faithful and current President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who supported the venture.

Mementos were then given to H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and H.E. Ali Al Hashimi by Bishop Paul Hinder. Flower bouquets were also presented to all the dignitaries. Addressing the guests, Bishop Paul Hinder expressed his gratitude to the President of UAE, all the government officials, the Municipal authorities for granting necessary permission and ensuring that the venture reached its completion without any hindrance.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said that he is glad to have the Cathedral of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia at Abu Dhabi. He also elaborated the policy of the UAE to respect the expatriate communities of different faiths. He encouraged the Catholic Community to continue to support the UAE in its effort to build a Global nation living in harmony while achieving economic growth.

Archbishop Petar Rajic presented Mementos to the representatives of the Consultant, Mr. Suhail and the Contractor, Mr. Hakim Saadi.

Speaking on the occasion, Fr. Savarimuthu expressed his special thanks to the bishop, Paul Hinder for all the support extended to this project. He also thanked the members of the Construction Committee for their commitment and whole hearted support. He made a special mention of the enormous contribution of Fr. Eugene Mattioli, who served the Abu Dhabi parish for seventeen and a half year to build up a strong Catholic Community.

The dignitaries then were taken for a tour of the new building as the parishioners continued exchanging greetings on the occasion as the choir sang, ‘Give thanks to the Holy One’. This day will be written in the history of Catholic faith of the Arabian Peninsula with golden letters as a remarkable landmark achieved both in terms of faith and fraternity of various religions.

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