World's largest Catholic parish in the world is in Dubai
- Sunday, January 24, 2016
- By Ion Gonzaga
- 0 Comments
St. Mary's Parish Church in Oud Metha, Dubai has almost 400,000 parishioners, thanks to the multicultural population and diverse generation of Catholics who work in the emirate - and the fact that it is the only catholic church servicing a big part of Dubai (St. Francis being in Jebel Ali).
Most masses are done in English, but also in the Indian sub-continent languages of Malayalam, Konkani, Tamil, Urdu and Sinhalese. There's also Filipino, French and Arabic.
This is another testimony how Dubai recognizes and respects other religious practices and beliefs.
Noteworthy: St Mary's Church was built on land granted by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in 1966. The great leader opened St Mary's the following year.Simbang Gabi, a Filipino Catholic's 9-day pre-Christmas novena mass tradition, fills the every inch of the parish in and outside its vicinity.
Land was also donated to a number of Christian denominations and other major religions to build churches across Dubai and the UAE.
When the parish outgrew the old church, the new St Mary's church was built in 1989 to seat 1,700. However, more than 2,000 people regularly attend the numerous masses, even on weekdays. Parishioners spill over into the open square in front of the church where the Mass is broadcast via loudspeakers and projectors on giant screens. - AD2000
|Simbang Gabi 2015|
But the spirit is strong. The faith is definitely alive.
* Photos from St. Mary's Online Photo Album