It comprises all Arabia, and is properly known as the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia and Aden. The present incumbent is the Rt. Rev. Bernardine Thomas Clark. It includes also the islands that depend geographically on Arabia, notably Perim and Socotra. From 1839 to 1851, it was part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Egypt, when it was united to the African Vicariate of the Gallas of Abyssinia, under the Capuchins. In 1854 a secular priest, Aloysius Sturla, became Prefect Apostolic there. Later the mission was given back to the Capuchins, under the Vicariate Apostolic of Bombay. In 1859 it became an independent mission, and in 1875 it was again united to the African Vicariate. It was made an independent Vicariate Apostolic again in 1888, and committed to the care of the Capuchins. The population of Aden, now a strongly fortified place, is about 40,000, Arabs, Somalis, Jews, and Indians, besides the British garrison and officials. The large and important harbour furnishes one of the principal coaling-stations of the British Empire. Being a free port, it has become the chief trading-centre for all the neighbouring countries. The British settlement dates from 1839, and the site is almost the most southerly on the Arabian coast, "being a peninsula of an irregular oval form, of about fifteen miles in circumference, connected with the mainland by a narrow, sandy isthmus." There are in this Vicariate Apostolic 11 missionary priests ; 6 churches and chapels ; 6 stations; 2 religious orders of men, and 1 of women ; 4 orphanages and 6 elementary schools. The Catholic population is about 1,500.
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