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Nations gathering in Faith

November 06, 2012 - 12:37 PST


Largest Catholic youth conference in Arabia to be held in the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, UAE (November 6, 2012) - The second Catholic youth conference in Arabia (ACYC 2012) will be taking place from the 15th to the 17th of November 2012 bringing together youth and young adults from across the Middle East. The event, an initiative of the Vicariates of Northern and Southern Arabia, is expected to attract more than 1,500 participants from the region and will take place in St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The three day conference will be presided over by H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA), and H.E Bishop Camillo Ballin of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA). Reflecting on the Church's entry into the Year of Faith the theme of the conference is taken from Mark 9:23 - "All things are possible for the one who believes". The sessions at the conference have been designed to respond and answer to issues of Faith amongst the Catholic youth and young adults in the region.

Speakers include world renowned apologist Matt Fradd, Catholic priest and musician Fr. Stan Fortuna from New York, Br. George Gabriel of the Preacher in Blue Jeans Ministry from Philippines and Fr. Michael Ssenfuma of the Anawim band from Uganda amongst other local and regional resources. The dynamic blend of presenters from across the world has been selected to cater to the individual needs of the multi-cultural faithful as well as to address the unique issues of the youth and the young adults in the region.

Catholics in AVONA and AVOSA mostly comprise of Catholic expatriates from around the world, working in the region. These expatriates mostly come from Philippines, the African continent, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and from neighbouring nations of Syria and Lebanon.

H.E Bishop Paul Hinder of AVOSA said, "The future of a community lies in its youth, and we have placed paramount importance in our parishes to events and activities that foster and strengthen the faith of our youth and young adults. At most times many of our youth cannot participate in international youth gatherings like World Youth Day and Youth Arise because of the high expense involved in attending these events. Through ACYC, we have now ensured that the catholic youth in Arabia don't miss out on the fellowship with other Catholic youth"

H.E Bishop Camillo Ballin of AVONA added "We hope that ACYC will provide a much needed platform for the youth across the Middle East to come together and experience the joys of living their Faith. The youth and young adults in the AVONA and AVOSA are often isolated in the experience of their faith due to the unique circumstances of the region they reside in. Our aim with ACYC is not only to bring people together, but also provide them with an opportunity to listen to internationally acclaimed speakers who are gifted and relate to the youth and respond to the many questions they have about their faith."

The last Catholic youth conference, which was the first of its kind, took place in November 2009 at St. Mary's Church, Dubai, UAE and was a tremendous success, touching the lives of youth who did not often have an opportunity to experience this form of fellowship with other Catholics in the region.

A main highlight of the conference is the musical concert -reJOYce - which brings together Catholic musicians like Fr. Stan Fortuna, Anawim and Alphonse Joseph of the RexBand on one platform, along with local bands Light of Jesus and MasterPlan. It is the first time a concert of such scope has been planned in the region, expecting to attract more than 5,000 people including the conference participants.

Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA)
The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Arabiae Meridionalis) is a Roman Catholic apostolic vicariate located in the United Arab Emirates. It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The superior of the vicariate is the Swiss born Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap.

Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA)
The Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Arabiae Septentrionalis) is a Roman Catholic apostolic vicariate located in Bahrain. It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, although there are no churches in Saudi Arabia. The superior of the vicariate is the Italian Bishop Camillo Ballin MCCJ.

For more information please contact:

Thushara Zacharias

, n.a AE
ACYC 2012 - ,


Youth conference, Middle East, Youth, Arabia, Evangelisation, faith


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