Catholic Sisters in Gulf states flock to Bahrain to be with Pope
By Devin Watkins and Francesca Merlo
It is clear from the number of faithful gathered at the Pope's events in Barhain, that Catholics and members of other religions have travelled far to be in the presence of the Holy Father and, in some way, to take part in his 39th Apostolic Journey abroad.
Devin Watkins spoke to Sister Jacinta Cuditha, from the congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chambery, who are based in Saint Mary's Catholic School in Dubai. She explains that three members of her congregation are situated in Saint Mary's School, working as head of finance and administration, pastoral care in both the school and the church, and herself as directress of the school.
A blessing for people of all faiths
Sr. Jacintha describes the Holy Father's visit as a "blessing" for all of the people in the Gulf. "It is a blessing for us", she says, "because it creates a bond between the Catholics and all the religions of the world".
She explained that the Pope has come here bringing a message of peace - peace and unity that should be felt between all the religions of the world, too. "There should not be disparity between Catholics, Hindus, Muslims or any other religion which exists in the world. We should be one in the Lord", she stresses.
Taking back the Holy Father's message of peace
Another sister who travelled to Bahrain from elsewhere in the UAE is Sr. Surin Sulah, a Carmelite nun from Kerala in India. Her order, she says, has been working in Abu Dhabi's Saint Joseph School as well as in the city's cathedral, for almost 47 years.
Out of the five sisters working in Abu Dhabi, two of them are in Bahrain, and Sr. Surin expresses the honour she has in taking back to her other sisters who could not be there "the Holy Father's message of peace and love".
"Pope Francis has always been such an inspiration to me", she says, "especially in the way he feels for the poor, the downtrodden and the people who are neglected" and she reiterated her excitement for finally being able to be in his presence, and see him "with my own eyes".
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