OMAN Catholics in Oman celebrate their first priestly ordination

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Vicar Apostolic Archbishop Hinder will ordain Fr Dickson Eugene, who grew up in Oman, for the Salesian province of Bangalore. Two confirmations in two different parishes of the capital and a meeting of all the priests of the sultanate are also planned for this weekend. The nation has a very large Muslim majority, but there is freedom of worship. The role of Muscat in the release of Fr. Tom.

Muscat (AsiaNews) – It is a day of celebration for Catholics in the Sultanate of Oman, a community of around 60,000 faithful, or 2% of the total population with a large Muslim majority, forming part of the Apostolic Vicariate of South Arabia. Today at 3 p.m. (capital time) Vicar Bishop Paul Hinder will celebrate the first priestly ordination in the history of the local Church: Father Dickson Eugène, who will receive the sacrament in the parish of Saints Peter and Paul during a service broadcast live on social networks. networks (Click here to see the video) to allow the participation of the whole community.

Prof. Eugene is from the Salesian Province of Bangalore, India, but grew up in Oman where he has spent most of his life.

Days of festivities, celebrations and meetings for the local Church will continue throughout the weekend. Tomorrow, the Apostolic Vicar will celebrate confirmations at two different times: in the morning in the church of Ruwi and in the afternoon in the parish of Ghala, both in the territory of the capital Muscat. Finally, on March 27, Bishop Hinder will meet with all the priests working in Oman to take stock of the local Catholic situation and the future challenges of the mission in the country.

The Sultanate’s Catholic Church is largely made up of immigrant workers, particularly from South and Southeast Asia. It is part of the Southern Vicariate, which also includes Yemen and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Currently, the territory is divided into five parishes: the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Sohar; the Church of the Most Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Ruwi; the Church of the Holy Spirit in Ghala; St. Francis Xavier Church in Salalah; and the Church of Mar Thoma.

Christians are a small minority in a strongly Islamic context, but the authorities tolerate freedom of worship and religious freedom is generally respected. The faithful can gather for worship, organize schools, events and celebrations. In the past, the sultan donated land and helped build churches and places of worship, even donating an organ to the church in Muscat.

In the past, the contribution of local leaders was fundamental to obtain the release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian Salesian kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016 by a jihadist commando in Aden, who had also killed four nuns and 12 other people, including guests of the center for the elderly. Oman played a decisive role in his release and in the days following his release, the Holy See applauded and thanked him.

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