If you go to daily Mass, you know it’s pretty unusual to run across much of a crowd.
If you go to Mass at your local parish, there may be only a handful of people there, many of them retired, with maybe a few homeschool families to round things out.
If you go to Mass at a Newman Center, or a downtown cathedral during the lunch hour, things are a bit different — at those places, there might well be a few hundred people at a daily Mass.
A congregation of more than 1,000 would take most Americans by surprise at a weekday Mass, especially at a parish with four or five Masses every day of the week — and sometimes several more.
But a recent visitor to St. Mary’s parish church in Dubai found exactly that.
St. Mary’s Catholic Parish is one of the largest parishes in the world, and a center of life for the Catholics who come to live and work in an Arabian city whose population has tripled in the last 20 years — mostly because of the migrants and their children who make up 85% of Dubai’s population.