ASIA/ARAB EMIRATES - The largest gathering of young Catholics in the Arabian Peninsula is approaching

Tuesday, 23 October 2018 middle east   oriental churches   religious minorities   youth   world youth day

Ras Al Khaimah (Agenzia Fides) - More than 1,000 young Catholics between the ages of 18 to 35, from across the Arabian Peninsula, will make their way to Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates for a two-day event, on 26 and 27 October, titled ACYC (Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia) 2018. The two-day event will be held at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (see photo). The Festival of Faith will be the largest gathering of young adults of the Catholic faith from
across the Arabian Peninsula with attendees from parishes in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan. A group of young Catholics from the Hascemite Kingdom of Jordan will also be present at the event. This is the third time that the conference is being held in the United Arab Emirates, the first being in Dubai in 2009 and the second in Abu Dhabi in 2012. The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God’ is in line with the Marian themes for the last two diocesan World Youth Days and the upcoming World Youth Day 2019 which will be held in Panama from 22 to 27 January 2019". "The conference, underlines Bishop Paul Hinder OFMCap, Apostolic Vicar for Southern Arabia, calls on young adults to not be afraid and to know that their dignity and preciousness is not the result of recognition by any power and authority in this world, but by God who tells us that we are his beloved
children". Mary - adds Bishop Hinder - "can teach us in a unique way how to live as children of God and to radiate love, joy and peace in the world".
The Conference will take place at the same time as the final phase of the Synod on Youth, underway in Rome and has an impressive line up of international speakers: Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra, Australia; John Pridmore, who will share his journey of conversion and how he became an international
Catholic speaker and author; Sr. Anne Flanagan, a singer, writer and speaker for Pauline books & media; the preacher of Ghanaian origin Mark Nimo - actively involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal - and Fr. Wissam Mansour the youth chaplain in Jordan. The two-day conference will be marked by the celebration of daily Mass and moments of prayer and adoration. The conference will also showcase live musical performances by leading local bands Ablaze, Masterplan, InsideOut, Coheirs and Redeemers.
The organization of the event was made possible thanks to the voluntary work of more than one hundred young people from the United Arab Emirates.
The conference - reads the press release of the event, sent to Agenzia Fides - answers the call of Pope Francis to meet young people right where they are and to understand their problems, struggles and difficulties - to present the face of Jesus and the church always ready to “welcome, integrate and journey together side by side.”
The conference will also be attended by Bishop Camillo Ballin MCCJ, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia, and Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates and Apostolic Delegate in the Arabian Peninsula. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 23/10/2018)