The Sacred Heart Church
is a Roman Catholic
parish in Manama
. The church is one of only two catholic
churches in Bahrain (the other being the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Visitation in Awali
). The Sacred Heart Church serves an estimated 140,000 people. The parish priest is Fr. Dinesh Mendonca.
In January, 1938 or 1939, H.E. Giovanni Tirinnanzi, Apostolic Vicar of Arabia
, then based in Aden, came to Bahrain to meet the then Emir of Bahrain
, Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, with plans to build a church in Bahrain. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on June 9, 1939. Fr. Luigi Magliacani, whom Mgr. Tirinnanzi knew as an expert in the building of churches, was called to Bahrain and given the responsibility of building the church. In just six months, the church, the priests' residence, and a small school were built.
The first mass, the Christmas midnight mass
, was held in the new church. It was formally blessed on March 3, 1940. The parish was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf
sisters were first brought in May 1953. They were given the role of taking care of the school. As the Gulf began to experience the oil boom,more and more Catholics were beginning to arrive in Bahrain. To cater to their needs, St Barth's Hall was built in 1958 to provide a place for social gatherings. This building also included the residential accommodation for priests.
Through the next 30 years as the number of Catholics... Read More