St. Francis of Assisi Church – Jebel Ali / Dubai – UAE

The St. Francis of Assisi church was inaugurated in November 2001 as part of the Vicarate of Arabia, presently pastored by Bishop Paul Hinder. It is a parish comprised of many nationalities from around the world. We are diverse communities united in one body of Christ. We are situated just off of Sheikh Zayed road beside the village of Jebel Ali in the emirate of Dubai. It is easily accessible from The Gardens/Ibn Battuta mall and from the Jebel Ali village interchanges.

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi was in the territory of St. Mary’s Church, Dubai where Rev. Fr. Daniel Cerofolini OFM Cap was the Parish Priest. He blessed and laid the foundation stone on 4th October 2000. The construction of the entire Church building was done within an admirable period of one year.

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE was consecrated on 15th of November 2001. Jebel Ali is situated on a small mountain desert. The name Jebel Ali itself means ‘Small Mountain’.

The parish land area is 50,000 ft2. It comprises of a single building of three parts. The church is adjoined by the Assisi Parish Hall, which can be opened if number of faithful increases for the church services. There is also a systematically constructed Padua Centre with fifteen halls, which can be used for Catechesis and Prayer meetings. The residential area and the office are another part of the construction. The plan and the architecture provide also a basement-parking space for 70 cars.

Indeed, this reveals a work of masterpiece by Bishop Bernard Gremoli. Everyone who visits the church has a wonder of being in a ‘House of Prayer’. The mosaic picture of Jesus embracing St. Francis from the Cross centers the sanctuary of the Church. It gives an extraordinary divine attraction for the Faithful.

This is the second Church within the Emirate of Dubai which began to serve the spiritual needs of faithful working/living in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Al Quoz Industrial Area, Jebel Ali Industrial Area, Jebel Ali Village, Jebel Ali Gardens and Jumeirah.

We had the opportunity of having Archbishop Giuseppe de Andrea, the Apostolic Delegate of Arabian Peninsula for the consecration of the Church. Bishop Bernard Gremoli, the Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, Most Rev. Br. John Corriveau, the Minister General of Capuchin Franciscan Order and Very Rev. Fr. Eugene Mattioli, the Superior Regular of the Arabian Capuchin Custody concelebrated the ceremony together with twenty priests from different parishes of Apostolic Vicariate; sisters from the Vicariate also participated. The colourful ceremony was magnified by almost three thousand Lay Faithful from various parishes of the Vicariate.

Contributed by : Philomena Dsouza , Jebel Ali / Dubai- UAE

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