WELCOME TO THE VICARIATE APOSTOLIC OF KUWAIT

INAUGURATION OF THE
Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia




Introduction



A Marian title is a Jewel in Mary's crown, making her more visible and her
blessedness, more radiant! Yet, her glory is not for herself as she
always points the way to her Son...

Our Lady of Arabia, Pray for Us!
Click here
for a larger picture


From the earliest ages of the Church, whether in times of triumph or in times of crisis, Catholics have always offered prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ for we have been taught that the Virgin Mother of God reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.

Hence, it is not surprising that even in this part of the world, the Arabian Peninsula, that we extol Mary's queenly dignity. The title 'Our Lady of Arabia' (or 'Queen of Arabia') even though it seemed quite "new", yet, the Right Rev. Apostolic Administrator of Arabia had approved it in 1948. It was meant to fulfill the prophecy of the Blessed Virgin contained in the Magnificat, "Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!" (Luke 1:48). A Marian title is thus a jewel in Mary's crown, making her more visible and her blessedness, more radiant! Yet, her glory is not for herself as she always points the way to her Son... "Because the Virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'." (St. Alphonsus Ligouri) But, she is called 'Queen', not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation.

To represent Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Arabia, Fr. Stella (who later became the first Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait) wanted to have a special statue made in her honour. An Italian firm in Rome was requisitioned to make the statue, carved out of a solid block of cedar from Lebanon. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, himself gave a grand lead to this devotion to Our Lady of Arabia, when on 17th December 1949, on the eve of the Great Jubilee Year, he personally blessed the new statue of Our Lady of Arabia in the Vatican Palace. The same Pope proclaimed the Queenship of Mary in 1954! This statue has been prominently placed above the altar in the Church in Ahmadi. A smaller statue of Our Lady of Arabia (again, blessed by Pope Pius X11 in 1954) is placed above the side altar in the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City.

In 1956, Bishop Teophano Stella, OCD, sent a petition to the Holy See to proclaim Our Lady of Arabia, Patroness of the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait. The following year, granting the request of the new Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, H.H. Pope Pius XII, by a pontifical decree Regnum Mariae, dated 25th January, 1957, declared Our Lady of Arabia the Principal Patron of the territory and the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait.

However, no official date was set for a proper feast day in honour of Our Lady of Arabia, so, in early 2007, His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ, the present Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, petitioned the Holy See to have a feast day established in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title. His prayer and wish were fulfilled this year 2011, when His Lordship Bishop Camillo received an official intimation from the Vatican that his request has been granted.

On 5th January 2011, the Holy See officially proclaimed Our Lady of Arabia Patroness of both the Vicariates in the Arabian Peninsula: The Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait and the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia. A Solemnity in her honour will henceforth be celebrated on Saturday preceding the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time with the permission to celebrate it also on Sunday. HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA (Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) arrived in Kuwait to personally inaugurate the special occasion.

This is a time of manifold graces and blessings for all - in the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait and the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia, as the loving patronage of Our Lady of Arabia extends to all Catholics in the Arabian peninsula, and indeed the whole world, that, we may renew the praises of Our heavenly Mother, and enkindle a more fervent devotion towards her, to the spiritual benefit of all mankind. Few are aware that devotion to Our Lady of Arabia actually began in 1948, on 8th December - the day on which the Chapel in Ahmadi was dedicated in her honour and that her statue in the shrine at Ahmadi was blessed in 1949 by Pope Pius XII who later proclaimed the Queenship of Mary in 1954. In 1949 the Church of Our Lady of Arabia in Ahmadi was aggregated to the Patriarchal Liberian Basilica (Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major) in Rome and has been granted the same indulgences as for visiting this greatest Marian Shrine in the world. Many will surely be enriched by indulgences and privileges by a visit or a pilgrimage to the church in Ahmadi.

Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical AD CAELI REGINAM proclaiming the Queenship of Mary said, "Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth -- and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul -- let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and preserve peace to which the Virgin Mary impels us, which is not wickedness unpunished, nor freedom without restraint, but, a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God!"

We pray that Our Lady of Arabia may hear our prayers, and by her peace make happy a world shaken by discord, and after our earthly exile ... show unto us all Jesus, Who will be our eternal peace and joy.

Our Blessed Mother will surely be honoured with more titles and feasts
as time goes by, as her patronage extends, and love and
devotion to her increase in every part of the world.



DECREE FROM THE CONGREGATION OF DIVINE WORSHIP




~ 13th to 16th January 2011 ~
Inauguration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia
In the Four Parishes of the Vicariate of Kuwait




Main Celebrant and Concelebrants
at the four Parishes:


HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA
(Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments)

HIS GRACE ARCHBISHOP PETAR RAJIC
(Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Gulf States)

HIS LORDSHIP BISHOP CAMILLO BALLIN, MCCJ
(Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait)

Monsignor Jorge Quinonez
(Secretary to H.E. Cardinal Antonio Caņizares Llovera)

Monsignor John Kallarackal
(First Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature in Kuwait)

Fr. Mathews Francis, OCD (Vicar General, Vicariate of Kuwait)

Holy Family Cathedral Parish
Fr. Gaspar Fernandes, OFM Cap.(Parish Priest), Fr. Youssef Fakhry,
Fr. Ben Barrameda, Fr. Angelos Masoud and Fr. Adel Nasr.

Our Lady of Arabia Parish
Fr. Andrew Francis, OFM Cap.(Parish Priest), Fr. John Harry D'Souza, OFM Cap and Fr. Alfredo Guran Micua, OFM Cap.

St. Thérèse Parish
Fr. Joseph (Joy) M, SDB (Acting Parish Priest), Fr. Lionel Braganza, SDB and Fr. Francisco Pereira, SDB.

St. Daniel Comboni Parish
Fr. Albert Saveriraj, OCD (Parish Priest) and Fr. John Palatty, OCD

Assisting at all the Eucharistic Celebrations
Deacon Sylvester D' Souza

Approved Texts of the Mass (Solemnity)
In Honour of Our Lady of Arabia

English
DOC    PDF
Italian
DOC    PDF
Latin
DOC    PDF




13 JAN 2011: St. Daniel Comboni Parish, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh



Our newest parish was the first to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia. The Mass was well-attended by parishioners who were very happy and eager to receive His Eminence Cardinal Llovera in their parish church hall.



His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin's Welcome Address at St. Daniel Comboni Parish
TO HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA

Your Eminence, Rev. Fathers and my dear People,

It is a matter of great joy for me to welcome His Eminence Cardinal Canizares, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, to this parish here in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, dedicated to St. Daniel Comboni. This parish was formally erected on 29th January, 2010. It is the realization of the dream which the migrant catholic faithful living here in this town had been cherishing since a very long time. They had to travel some 20 kilometers to reach the Holy Family Cathedral in Kuwait City for their spiritual and pastoral needs. This is the first parish His Eminence is visiting after his arrival in Kuwait yesterday evening. Thousands of people live here under the special protection of Our Lady of Arabia and St. Daniel Comboni, the Patron of the Parish.

As Your Eminence can notice, this is not a very suitable place of worship for so big a Community of faithful. We are very much constrained by the lack of enough space. We are desperately longing and praying for land to build a Church within the boundaries of this town. In every parish of the Vicariate special weekly prayers are held for this intention through the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni. We hope that he himself will find a place for us in the near future.

We thank the most Holy Father for his intervention and reference to the migrant Catholic faithful living in the Gulf, made on the occasion of his meeting with the members of the diplomatic corps, on the 10th of this month. We greatly appreciate his concern for the religious freedom and availability of space and opportunity for worship according to our faith. We request Your Eminence to convey our gratitude to His Holiness for his kind gesture of solidarity.

Your Eminence, the entire Catholic community of this parish highly esteem your kind visit and on their behalf I extend to you a most cordial welcome to this Eucharistic assembly.




HOMILY OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA
Delivered in Spanish at St. Daniel Comboni Parish and St. Thérèse Parish.


(Translated from the Original)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

Full of joy, we celebrate in thanksgiving to God, the approval of the proclamation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, Only Son of God, and Mother of the Church, Our Mother, invoked as “Our Lady of Arabia”, as Patroness of the people of Kuwait, Arabia and the Gulf, so beloved by her.

We thank God because in His infinite mercy, in which and by which He has given us Jesus Christ, who is the only Saviour of mankind. Through Jesus Christ man gains free access to divine sonship, and to the eternal life; because through Him we gain access to the truth that makes us free, because in Him we have the irrevocable and definitive salvation that we are searching for, as we are in great need of it and thirsty for it. He is the Saviour and his salvation is universal. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He gives valour, sense and consistency to reality; nothing can be separated from Him without altering his truth. This truth, rejected by all the builders in this world, has become the keystone on which we can build an entirely new and real creation, resplendent with truth, love, peace and justice. Christ knows and sees what is in man’s heart: Only He understands it and therefore He is our hope.

Jesus Christ has revealed the mystery of the indescribable God, who has been shown in Him as immeasurable Love, as a Friend of men. And he has also revealed the mystery of what our own life is, of what and who we are, and has introduced to history the possibility of living human life in a new way, according to the original design of God and to the deepest desires, that, in spite of sin, still remains embedded in the heart of men.

This faith is proposed to all and it is not imposed on anyone; it is always a proposition of grace and a salvation to the freedom of men. This faith, which we have received as the greatest heritage and the biggest treasure, is the only strength and the only power, the only wealth of the church of all the times; also today. The Church, because of her service and love to men, cannot let this wealth die, cannot make it silent, cannot stop offering it, because then it would be a betrayal to mankind itself to whom the Church is committed.

The absolute uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who descended from Heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit was incarnated in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, for us men and for our salvation , entails his importance and his universality to all generations, for “no people and no culture can guiltily ignore him without dehumanizing itself: no period can consider itself superior, even if the majority so estimate it; no man can consciously separate himself from Him without losing himself as a man.”

“Christ is not a luxury, a facultative option or an ornamental idea: his presence or his absence (that is, our acceptation or refusal) has an effect in the depth of our being and determines our fate. He is the Lord and claims a place in our thoughts, in our decisions and in our life. Our intelligence cannot live without that “memory”; our will cannot be governed without this “obedience”; our humanity cannot be fully achieved if we do not aim at growing and conforming to Him in this manner, that is, in communion. He is the Lord, and cannot be separated from any dimension of our existence. He is the Lord, but He does not impose on anyone, but seeks the freedom and freewill of everyone. The joy of his existence in our lives defeats any sadness. The eyes who have contemplated Him in faith cannot anymore look at the world and history with hopelessness. The heart that is open to Him, is open to the Universe and cannot shut itself again into its own smallness. Because He exists, we are a saved people; because He exists, we are a Church; because He exists, everything must be renewed; any reflection on Christ must give rise to a new humanity in Christ.

This is our experience, this is our faith and our joy, which since the first centuries have constituted the joy of the Christian people, amidst difficult times and even in persecutions, and which survives even in our times, offering a real and encouraging future. This is our faith and our joy, that today, heirs of so many saints and martyrs, of so many good Christians, witnesses of Jesus Christ, we wish to share with all human beings.

May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, fondly invoked as Our Lady Of Arabia and the Gulf, help us to follow Jesus, to remain loyal to Him and firm in our faith, May she help us to follow our path, never tiring, but, looking always at Him, who is the beginning and the accomplishment of our Faith.


PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE OCCASION (Jleeb Al Shuyoukh Parish)






14 JAN 2011: Our Lady of Arabia Church, Ahmadi



As part of this solemn occasion, Our Lady of Arabia parish, Ahmadi, celebrated its inaugural Titular Feast on Friday, 14th January 2011. A nine-days novena to Our Lady of Arabia with Vespers on the last day, preceded the feast.

The Catholic Church of Our Lady of Arabia witnessed an historical moment when His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Caņizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments who was on a pastoral visit to Kuwait celebrated the Solemnity at 9.30 AM in the church.

The Mass was concelebrated by His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic, Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen & UAE and Apostolic Delegate in the Arabian Peninsula and His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait.

Also joining in the celebration were Msgr. John Kallarackal (First Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature in Kuwait), Msgr. Jorge Quinonez (Secretary to His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Caņizares Llovera), Fr. Mathew Francis (Vicar General of the Vicariate of Kuwait), Fr. Andrew Francis (Parish Priest of Our Lady of Arabia Church), Fr. Albert Saveriraj(Parish Priest of St Daniel Comboni Church), Fr. Joy Joseph (Acting Parish Priest, St. Therese Parish, Salmiya) Fr Adel Nasr, Fr Alfredo Micua, Fr. John Harry D’Souza and Fr. Lionel Braganza. Deacon Sylvester D'Souza from the Holy Family Cathedral assisted at the Mass.

Among the distinguished guests were Fr. Marcos of the Coptic Congregation, Sisters of the Rosary Congregation and Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation.

Devotion to Our Lady of Arabia was vivified by the presence of the large number of faithful that had come, even from the other parishes, to witness this momentous and historical event. At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, there was a felicitation for the Cardinal, during which His Eminence also released H.L. Bishop Camillo Ballin's book "Exploring Our Catholic Faith", which is a series of Questions and Answers structured on the Catechism.



His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin's Welcome Address at Our Lady of Arabia Parish
TO HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA

Your Eminence, Your Grace the Apostolic Nuncio, Rev. Fathers and my dear People,

It is gives me immense pleasure to introduce and to welcome His Eminence Cardinal Canizares, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship to the Catholic Faithful gathered here in this Church of Our Lady of Arabia, Ahmadi. This is the first Catholic Church in Kuwait. In 1946, Carmelite missionaries from Basra in Iraq started to make regular visits to Kuwait till they could get a temporary space for a chapel in 1948. This present Church was built in 1956, by the Kuwait Oil Company and even now it is maintained by them. The members of this parish are working in the oil sector and in the nearby medical institutions. We conduct regular weekly services in different languages and rites.

Since more than 60 years, this Church remains as a monument of our special devotion to Our Lady of Arabia and a witness to her maternal care for the migrant people of Kuwait. We conduct regular weekly Novena prayers in different languages and a good number of people attend these devotions.

Your Eminence, your visit to this first Catholic Church in Kuwait will make a lasting impression in the minds of the people gathered here and in the history of this Church. The presence of an enthusiastic crowd bears witness to the lively faith of our people. No doubt, your presence will push up their faith still higher and instill in them a deeper sense of unity in diversity.

We are very grateful to our Holy Father who makes us feel his presence and solidarity with us through your visit. We thank, His Holiness in a special way and Your Eminence for your kind gesture of collaboration with us.

On behalf of all present here, I wholeheartedly welcome Your Eminence to this Church of Our Lady of Arabia and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with us.




HOMILY OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA
Delivered in Spanish at Our Lady of Arabia Parish and Holy Family Cathedral Parish.


(Translated from the Original)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

We are celebrating the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Arabia and the Gulf - that the Church has proclaimed as Patroness of these beloved people. We are celebrating this feast full of joy, in the following days during which we Christians and the whole world have recently lived the memory of the birthday of Jesus Christ, which took place in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. With our eyes fastened on Jesus Christ: hope and salvation to all men, and with the motherly intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Church makes every effort to follow His path towards a new era in its commitment to mankind.

The Church in Kuwait, Arabia, the people of the Gulf, as well as Virgin Mary in the greeting to her cousin Elizabeth, are today full of joy for the deeply-rooted faith that has been encouraged and cherished since the end of the first century that has been transmitted from its ancestors until the present time, in spite of the difficulties that we sometimes faced in history and in spite of the complexities and the hardships of the present world.

The Christian community in this land is joyful in this Marian Solemnity that it celebrates today because it contemplates in Mother Mary embracing her child Jesus: God’s tenderness and closeness that is all-consuming and has many consequences for man; for this reason we invoke the Virgin as our intercessor, and for this reason we turn to her as Helper of Christians, especially as Patroness and protector of these people.

In this child – small and poor, helpless and unprotected – who the Blessed Virgin is kissing and holds tenderly, we contemplate a gentleness and closeness that is quite supernatural and overwhelming. In this child born of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, God comes to remain with us forever: nothing, actually, none can separate God from us, neither separates us from Him. God does not want to be separated from man or his vulnerability. Thus, He has irrevocably committed Himself to man, to every single person on earth. He has entered with the silence of the night in our neglect; he has entered with that cry of the human being who arrives in the world. There He looks for us and lovingly awaits us tirelessly. A greater closeness of God to man is impossible. Nothing makes so present the depth, the width and the height of the mystery of God like this quiet and helpless child on the lap of his Very Blessed Mother. Neither the child nor the Mother provoke fear; they provoke, on the contrary, love and kindness. In Him, God shows us his will for peace: peace to all men that He loves. How can we not then see all this in this Woman, Virgin and Mother, Mary, our real and permanent Help? Or how can we stop approaching her to invoke her protection for all men and her intervention that always helps us?

Our new covenant with God, began with the Saviour’s birth in a humble stable in Bethlehem. Followed with simple faith and fidelity, it gives new meaning to life, and in time, transforms the heart of man, making it more open and Spirit-filled.

It is as if man begins to wake up: to be more aware to the reality and the mystery of life, and he begins to understand better the meaning of life and things. He acquires a sharpened conscience towards the world he lives in, and he starts to grow in freedom. Now he does not depend on chance or on circumstances, or on the affection of others or the pursuit of power. Likewise, he starts to be merciful, towards himself and towards all, and to love all things.

For this reason, today, with its original and genuine connotations, it is a privilege for Christians in this land to thank God for faith in Jesus Christ, endless “spring” of real humanization for our world. We feel indeed blessed for the legacy that we have received and at the same time we feel committed to intensely guard the rich patrimony of Christian faith and culture that so extraordinarily has impregnated the history of men. Our commitment may be characterized by the effort in reconciling on one hand the loyalty to this rich heritage and on the other hand offering to our society the values that we represent and invite others to share and live, in respect of the rights that every citizen has.

Today we want to thank God, that, despite the weakness and sins of us Christians, He has remained loyal and he still continues His work of saving mercy within us until today. Without any kind of pride and feeling of triumph, but only in fidelity to the faith, in order to thank God whole-heartedly, we remember also all those saintly men and women, that over the centuries have been born or lived in this land, and who have deeply loved their people and have sacrificed their lives for them, announcing Jesus Christ, and helping their brothers to live a more complete life, through educational work or many times by the heroic exercise of charity and mercy. We also remember the countless number of men and women, that, encouraged by the Christian faith, have lived and are living a life full of truth and love in the family and at work, in their daily life. It is they who are responsible for the great witness that we find today.

With these men and women, with their work of every kind, in the course of the centuries, the Catholic Church has made and, with the grace of God and the motherly help of Mary, will continue contributing great service to society in various fields. In general, the Christian Church, and particularly these people, loyal to the heritage of the faith they have received, loyal to the Lord, the living Son of God, will never cease in their determination to help others in all those areas where they need help.

I cannot end without mentioning in this Eucharistic Celebration - this present world, the world of today threatened by violence, injustice and hatred. We are at a time in history where in many different ways the sacred dignity of the human being is forgotten and degraded and the horizon looms ahead filled with uncertainty and a threatened future. These threats and uncertainty will never find their fulfilment - for in the Incarnation and the Birth of Jesus Christ of the Virgin Mary, from his Cross and Resurrection- we are assured of the victory of love against hate, truth against lie, peace against injustice, service against arrogance, life against death and good against bad.

The Church holds the hope that the world will really change, with the grace of God, into a world where the noblest aspirations of the human heart can be fulfilled; a world where real peace will prevail, whose pillars are justice and that particular love that is forgiveness, which is opposite to rancour and revenge, and not to justice as it tends to the fullness of justice. This is the prayer and hope of the Church. This is what we want to live today and always - Christians here and everywhere, and what we implore of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Intercessor and Queen of Peace, fondly invoked as Our Lady of Kuwait, of Arabia and the people of the Gulf.


PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE OCCASION (Ahmadi Parish)

Report by Mrs. Mary Sebastian, Parish Council Member.
Photographs by Alban & others.






15 JAN 2011: St. Thérèse Church, Salmiya



The parishioners of St. Thérèse Parish attended in great numbers to welcome the Cardinal and to witness the inauguration of the great Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia. (to be continued)



His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin's Welcome Address at St. Thérèse Parish
TO HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA

Your Eminence, Your Grace the Apostolic Nuncio, Rev. Fathers and my dear People,

I am very glad to introduce and to welcome His Eminence Cardinal Canizares, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship to this Church of Salmiya Parish dedicated to St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. This Church was started in 1974, as a small chapel for the weekly services in a rented building. In 2006, it was officially declared a parish of the Vicariate of Kuwait under the patronage of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. As you can see, we have the problem of space here too. We have no land nor a building of our own for the Church. The different communities and groups are accommodated for the weekly services by a tight time schedule. For almost all the Masses, the present Church is over crowded.

Like St. Thérèse, our Patroness, all of us are called to bear witness to the love of God. In that sense we have a specific mission to share God’s love not only among ourselves but with the people of other faiths as well. Your Eminence, we are highly privileged to have you in our midst for this Eucharistic celebration and are greatly blessed by your visit to this parish of Salmiya. By celebrating the Holy Mass in honor of Our Lady of Arabia, we are placed under the special protection of our Blessed Mother. We are very grateful to your Eminence for your precious presence and paternal solicitude for the migrant people here in Kuwait. We depend very much on your valuable prayers and pastoral support which will ever remain fresh in our thoughts. We appreciate your readiness to spend many days with us and we feel much encouraged by your kind visit. We look forward to many more visits of this kind.

Your Eminence, on behalf of all present here, we welcome you to this Eucharistic assembly and entreat your valuable prayers for the spiritual and material well-being of all.




HOMILY OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA
Delivered in Spanish at St. Daniel Comboni Parish and St. Thérèse Parish.


Click here for the Homily

PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE OCCASION (Salmiya Parish)

Photographs ny Winston Alphonso.





16 JAN 2011: Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City



The Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia reached its highest point at the Eucharistic Celebration at the Holy Family Cathedral. Crowds of people braved the cold weather to attend the very beautiful and solemn occasion. Such was their devotion as they gathered around their beloved Mother "Our Lady of Arabia".

The new image of Our Lady of Arabia above the side Altar was blessed by His Eminence the Cardinal and His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin. (to be continued)



His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin's Welcome Address at the Holy Family Cathedral
TO HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA

Your Eminence, Rev. Fathers and my dear People,

This is a unique moment and a memorable event in the history of the Holy Family Cathedral. This evening we have with us His Eminence, Cardinal Canizares, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. Since the last three days he has been with us in Kuwait visiting the different parishes and celebrating the Eucharist for our people. His visit and presence have as purpose to proclaim the Virgin Mary, with the title of Our Lady of Arabia, Patroness of all the Countries of the Gulf and to celebrate this solemnity for the first time. It was due to his great generosity that we have now a special Mass text approved by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Cult in honor of Our Lady of Arabia, the Patroness of our Vicariate and now Patroness of both the Vicariates in the Gulf. Our joy is doubled, as we have His Eminence himself present with us to preside over this first Liturgical celebration in honor of Our Lady of Arabia. This is a moment of re-dedication of the entire Vicariate to her maternal care and protection.

This Holy Family Cathedral is situated on the land that was graciously allocated by His Highness the Amir and the Government of Kuwait. We owe immense gratitude to the most respected Rulers of this country for their generosity. On 16th March, 1961, this Cathedral was blessed and consecrated. We celebrate here the liturgy in five Rites and in twelve languages. Even here we have the limitation of space. As you can see, many of our Faithful participate in this Service standing outside the Church, in the adjacent courtyard because on many occasions the Cathedral remains fully packed. Hence, we are pleading with the authorities to get another piece of land, in addition to the present one, for a Church. So far we have not received any response. These limitations affect our ministry to the many communities who make reasonable demands for space.

Your Eminence, we pray together with you to Our Lady of Arabia so that our ministry towards the migrant people may produce instant results. Our aim is to form one community and unity of all Catholics, obedient to His Holiness the Pope and to the local Bishop.

Your Eminence, on behalf of all the Clergy and the people gathered here, I whole-heartedly welcome you to this Eucharistic assembly. I also make use of this opportunity to thank you for your kind visit. It will remain as a memorable event in the history of the Vicariate of Kuwait. Tomorrow you will be back in Rome. Kindly convey our warm and filial affection to the Holy Father and request His Holiness to pray for us and to bless us. Thank You.




HOMILY OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL ANTONIO CAŅIZARES LLOVERA
Delivered in Spanish at at Our Lady of Arabia Parish and Holy Family Cathedral Parish.


Click here for the Homily

PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE OCCASION (Cathedral Parish)






O Queen of Arabia, Glorious Queen of Peace!
Grant us peace in our hearts, harmony in our families and
concord throughout the world. Immaculate Mother, as Patroness of the
Great Arabian Peninsula, watch over and protect all with your motherly love.
Amen.








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