Saturday, July 29, 2017

St. Mary's Catholic Church: Catholics' Solace in Muslim Dubai

       If you're a Catholic and have learned that you'll be staying in a Muslim country like the UAE in the next 2 years of your life (like me), you might think that your faith will be doomed and will be idle throughout your stay. But those thoughts changed when I've learned about the St. Mary's Catholic Church existence, a haven for hundreds of thousands of Filipino Catholics in Dubai.


       Doing some research, I found out that the church was founded by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the late father of the current ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In 1966, he donated land to build the church and was inaugurated on 7 April 1967.  This quite impressed me knowing that the Sheikhs are Muslim.

       I have always wanted to visit this church when I first learned about its existence but it took me over a year before doing so. The church is inundated by Catholic expats mostly Filipinos and Indians to my surprise.


       Attending the holy mass felt like my faith was renewed and my soul was rejuvenated. Working and living in a place thousands of miles away from your loved ones, this place is a refuge to the loneliness that we are all feeling and that somewhere in the middle of a desert, God is with us and we are not alone after all.

Grotto
         There is this grotto outside the church where Catholics offer prayer to St. Mary under the flickering heat of the sun. Just beside this grotto is a house where you can light your candles which are available on the spot and just donate any amount from your heart in the donation box.

Facade of St. Mary's Church

       For more information about mass schedules and others, you can visit their website HERE.

How to get there?
       Located in Oud Metha Street Opp. Indian High School Bur Dubai، Umm Hurair 2 - Dubai, just take the Metro Green Line and get off at Oud Metha Station. If your nearest station is a Red Line, you can get off at either Union or Burjuman Station and from there hop on the Green Line.

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