A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, SHARJAH, U.A.E.
The first St. Michael’s Church was founded in 1971 by Fr. Barnabas as a little chapel close to the British Air force base. In 1973 Fr. Barnabas shifted it into the then British officers’ mess. The kitchen area was converted into the Parish house.
Father Barnabas was succeeded by Fathers Attilio, Edmund, Antonino, Felicio, Godwin and Angelo. These Priests worked with dedication and zeal. As a result the flock continued to grow rapidly. In spite of the fact, that each of these priests expanded and embellished the converted church, there was still a lack of space to accommodate the parishioners in that small premise.
Under the guidance and support of Bishop Bernard Gremoli the new Church was built by Fr. Angelo Fiumicelli and his dedicated team. The new St. Michael’s Church was consecrated on 2nd October 1997 by Cardinal Artinze from the Vatican with Fr. Angelo as the First Parish Priest.
When Fr. Angelo returned to Italy after serving the parish of St. Michael’s Church for 18 years and on the whole 54 years in the Vicariate of Arabia, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder O.F.M. Cap appointed me as Parish Priest on 6th July 2007. Co-pastors Fr. Michael Paroosseril, Fr. Dinesh Mendosa, Fr. Sergio P. Arenga, Fr. Bijo Kudilil worked with me. Now along with Fr. Rodson Goes, Fr. Antonio Yapchiongco, Fr. Biju Goerge and Fr. Felico Diniz and other non-residential Priests, we continue to serve the multinational community. We have 35 prayer groups gathering every week for prayer meetings and Holy Masses in 8 different languages are conducted. The whole parish community prays as one family in Spirit and Faith. We have a number of spiritual activities too every month.
I am thankful to Bishop Paul for his constant support and guidance and also to all my parishioners for their good will gestures and generosity.
May God Bless you all!
Fr. Ani Xavier O.F.M. Cap.