Sharjah Malankara Catholic Community
SHARJAH which signifies “East”, lies to the east of Dubai. Incidentally, oriental Christians, Hindus, and few other religions do give great significance to the direction of ‘east’ due to the implications they attribute to this direction. It is believed, though unscientific, that light originates in the east. Christ is the light of the world and He invites us to turn towards Him.
In 1974 the Catholic community in Sharjah started as church in “a chapel already prepared by British soldiers”. “On 26 June 1995 H.H. Sheikh Sultan gave a plot for the new church”. Most of the Malankara faithful made sure to attend weekend Holy Masses and other devotional exercises as they were possible within their time frame of work and rest. However they never forgot to recite their daily prayers as has been prescribed by Malankara catholic discipline, though a few found it convenient to attend other oriental Masses. The necessity of a Malankara togetherness was felt by a number of devout malankarites and they started to come together according to their own convenience, for which at times they had to take upon themselves lot of strain and great sacrifices. The intention here is to mention that it had been always the earnest desire and dedication of the lay faithful that helped to the taking shape of a church community. Their continuous prayer to God and repeated requests to church authorities finally began to find some answer coming on their way. Very Reverend Father Abraham Kacknatt( Bishop Abraham Mar Julios) visited Sharjah in 1988 and gave a starting momentum to some consolidated activities which eventually led to the formation of a prayer group. Later Very Reverend Father Gheevarghese Mannikkarott (now Cor Episcopo) had been very instrumental, during his visit to the Malankarites towards the close of the 20th century, in giving a further acceleration to the already existing structure and organization. As a consequence of all these the Arabian Vicariate entrusted Reverend Father Chacko Mannisserry, OFM Cap. the care of the Malankara Catholic communities in the Arabian Gulf. It has been a strenuous effort from the part of Fr. Chacko M. he deserves gratitude from the Malankara Catholic communities for his successful attempt.
The arrival of Reverend Father Jerome Peedikapparmpil, OIC added further momentum to what had already been initiated. Fr. Jerome and later Reverend Father Mathai Iranathara resided in Doha, Qatar and visited UAE on a regular basis. Both the reverend fathers succeeded in adding colour, flavor, energy, and purposeful learning to the Malankara vitality of the communities. Fr. Peter Kadamankod, OIC reached in 2005 December as the first resident chaplain with residence at St. Francis Jebel Ali. It is the enthusiasm of the community that keeps it going. We get good encouragement and support from St. Michael Parish for which our sincere gratitude is acknowledged herewith to the parish Priest, assistant parish priests, Parishners, and staff. We are able to organize three Holy Masses and a prayer session every month besides the weekly catechetical session.