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"Happy are those who patiently endure trials because afterwards they will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love him."   James 1:12. 

The St.Joseph’s Cathedral, formerly known as “The St.Joseph’s Church”, has been witnessing the transformation of Abu Dhabi Emirate ever since its inception. Carrying a message from His Holiness Pope John XXIII to the former Ruler, His Highness Sheikh Shakhbut Al Nahyan, the 1st emissary, Rev.Fr.Eugene Mattioli, OFM Cap., landed in Abu Dhabi in 1962. As directed by Sheikh Shakhbut, Fr.Mattioli found-out a location for the Church in north-west of Abu Dhabi Island, presently known as Corniche Area. The location found-out by Fr.Mattioli being in the area reserved for residence, at the initiative of Sheikh Shakhbut, a Church was constructed on the Corniche road of Abu Dhabi Island on February 19, 1965, naming after St.Joseph. His Excellency Bishop Bernard G. Gremoli, OFM Cap., the VIIIth Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, arrived in Abu Dhabi on March 21, 1976. Constructing many basic infrastructure through-out the Vicariate, at the kind advice of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the then President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Excellency Bishop Bernard G. Gremoli reconstructed the Church on February 25, 1983 at the present location in Mushrif area as Cathedral. With the retirement of His Excellency Bishop Bernard G. Gremoli, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder, OFM Cap., was ordained as the IXth Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, on January 30, 2005.

Oil boom in the Arabian Peninsula in early 1970s attracted many Catholics to Abu Dhabi. Proportionately spiritual needs of faithfuls from various parts of the world also grew. At first all the services were in English. In accordance with Vatican Council-II, to make the liturgy livelier with their own traditions, culture and languages, services in different languages were added. Earlier Malayalam services were conducted by the priests either visiting the UAE or transiting through the UAE. Regular monthly and subsequently weekly services were conducted with the arrival of Rev.Fr.Godwin Gama, OFM Cap., in Sharjah in 1990. The first resident Priest assigned to Malayalam Community in Abu Dhabi was Rev.Fr.John Herschel, OFM Cap., in 1995. Following his full-time service, the services of Malayalam Priests such as Rev. Fr.Varghese Alphonse, OFM Cap., Rev.Fr.Joseph Solomon, OFM Cap., and Rev.Fr.Antony Puthenpurackal, OFM Cap., were available to the Malayalam Community at the Cathedral, on full-time basis. It is in addition to the services of numerous priests of various rites and congregations available every now and then. Rev.Fr.Savarimuthu, OFM Cap., is present Parish Priest. To serve the Malayalam Community, Rev.Fr. Joji Plamparambil, OFM Cap., is the Priest presently assigned.

Initially, various prayer groups were available in Abu Dhabi. Many of them were praying at home during their leisure-time and some of them even at the desert during night-time. None of them could go-ahead due to various reasons. A Charismatic Prayer Group, started in the Church on 10th October 1992 with certain like-minded lay-persons, has been continuing its regular weekly services on every Saturdays at 08:00 p.m. To meet the needs of youths, Jesus Youth, instituted in the Church on 21st February 1997, has been conducting its weekly services on every Fridays at 05:00 p.m. Care has also been given to the teenagers, with its monthly service at 06:30 p.m. on 3rd Thursdays of every month, through a gathering called “Christeen”, the teenagers for Christ. Included in the Malayalam Co-ordination Committee, called in short “MCC”, are the various devotional groups consisting mainly from Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites, working for the spiritual transformation of all Malayalam Community in particular, and all the faithfuls in general.


Our Lady of perpetual Succor
St. Antony
St. Rita