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Pastoral Visit of H. E. Bishop Paolo Martinelli to the Syro Malankara Catholic Community in Dubai

Date:

On 11th May 2024, H. E. Bishop Paolo Martinelli made a pastoral visit to the Syro Malankara Catholic community in Dubai. As the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paolo Martinelli oversees the pastoral care of the Catholic communities in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. His visit underscores the unity and support within the Catholic Church, bridging different rites and traditions.

Visit Highlights

The pastoral visit took place at the Annexe Hall of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai where the Syro Malankara Catholic Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist, beginning with a warm welcome from the parish priest, Fr. Reji Varughese Manakallett. Bishop Paolo was presented with a bouquet, symbolising the community’s heartfelt appreciation. The visit centred around the Holy Qurbana, celebrated at 5 PM, where Bishop Paolo addressed the congregation, offering words of encouragement and spiritual guidance. He interacted with community members, providing them with much-needed spiritual support.

Bishop Paolo Martinelli’s Background

Bishop Paolo Martinelli, born on 22 October 1958 in Milan, Italy, joined the Capuchin Friars Minor in 1978 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He has a distinguished academic background, having studied and taught theology at various pontifical universities. In 2014, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Milan, where he served as the Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life and School Pastoral Care.

On 1st May 2022, Pope Francis appointed him as the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, succeeding Bishop Paul Hinder. Bishop Martinelli’s role includes overseeing the pastoral activities in a region with a significant number of migrant workers from Asian countries, making his mission both challenging and vital.

Theme of the Visit

During his pastoral visits, including his recent visit to St. Mary’s Dubai, Bishop Paolo emphasized the importance of unity, mission, and the prophetic role of the Church in promoting peace and fraternity. He highlighted the need for the community to work together, embracing their diverse backgrounds to form one unified body in Christ. His homilies often reflect on the themes of hope, mission, and the importance of living a life of vocation and service to others.

Bishop Paolo Martinelli’s pastoral visit to the Syro Malankara Catholic community in Dubai was a momentous occasion, reinforcing the close ties between the Latin and Syro Malankara rites within the Catholic Church. His visit provided spiritual nourishment and support to the community, reflecting the collaborative and inclusive spirit of the Church in the region.

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