The same is true of the Arab, Filipino, Sri Lankan, and Indian communities (in their different language groups), as well as small German-, French-, and Italian-speaking communities.
As for education in the faith, unlike in Latin America, catechesis is not directed toward sacramental preparation, but during the 12 years of primary and secondary school, catechesis is given on weekends as an extracurricular activity.
In the Spanish-speaking community, there is also catechesis for families whose children will receive the sacraments in their country of origin. “At the same time, parents receive their faith formation,” Darío explained.
Their connection to the rosary
At Martha’s initiative, since they arrived in Abu Dhabi, she and her husband began to pray the Pilgrim Holy Rosary in the homes of different people. Later, it was transferred to the cathedral, where a group of women met once a week.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the practice had to be suspended, and it hasn’t been possible to restart it because normal activities in the country only resumed two weeks ago.
The news about the Worldwide Women’s Rosary came through Fanny Tagle, a Chilean who participates in coordinating the initiative and who was a classmate of Darío’s in a professional development course. And so Tagle conveyed the proposal to him.
Martha and Darío took the idea to the parish, where the priest decided to support it, proposing to offer the intentions of the rosaries that are said in the half hour before each Mass from Dec. 5–8 for the Worldwide Women’s Rosary.
In the entire country, which is about the size of the state of Maine, there are only nine Catholic parishes, which means that “people of different cultures and different countries flock to the eucharistic celebrations.” Darío estimates that every Sunday some 15,000 people attend Mass.
On liturgical solemnities such as the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, it’s not possible to hold any activity outside of Mass, and the rosary cannot be prayed in the church.
During the month of October, the Catholic community of the United Arab Emirates celebrates the devotion to the holy rosary. A heavily attended rosary service is held to close the month's events, and this year it brought together close to 1,300 people. It was the first one to be led by the new bishop of the vicariate, Paolo Martinelli.
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To join the global initiative Dec. 8, the couple is considering meeting in a house and livestreaming it from there on the Facebook page of the Spanish-speaking community of Abu Dhabi.
Representatives from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, and the United States have already confirmed their participation in the Worldwide Women’s Rosary.
Also participating will be women from Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.