The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA) posted on its website on Sunday evening (May 17) that an assistant parish priest at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Sharjah died on Sunday evening “due to multiple complications arising from COVID-19”.
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Fr. Youssef Sami Youssef OFM Cap. served the Arabic and French-speaking Catholics in Sharjah. He was a Catholic missionary who served in several Gulf States since 1993. He was 62.
Thousands Mourn the Death of Sharjah Priest due to Coronavirus
Father Youssef had been receiving treatment for almost three weeks at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Ajman and received expert care, ventilation, and stem cell therapy, according to AVOSA, as shared in a report by the Gulf News.
The AVOSA explained, “However, since he already had some underlying medical conditions, he soon started to develop critical multiple organ failures“.
Fr. Youssef was described by his friends and community members as someone warm, approachable, and caring to all.
AVOSA said Fr. Youssef’s “outgoing and lively personality will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and especially by all the Arabic and French-speaking Catholics in the vicariate.”
Through the course of his work in the Gulf region, Fr. Youssef served the Arabic and French-speaking communities at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Dubai from 1993-1995; Our Lady of the Rosary Church Doha (2004-2008); Sacred Heart Church, Manama (2008-2011); St. Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi (2011-2015); Holy Spirit Church, Ghala and St. Mary’s Church Al Ain before he was stationed at St. Michael’s Church Sharjah in 2016.
Fr. Youssef was born in Deir Dourit, Mont Liban in the Maronite Diocese of Sidon in Lebanon on November 18, 1957. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap.) of the General Custody of the Near East and made his profession of vows on October 4, 1977.
Upon completion of his studies on Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical Holy Spirit University Kaslik Jounieh, Lebanon, Fr. Youssef was ordained to the priesthood on July 2, 1988.
Through the course of his vocation, Fr. Youssef has held several senior roles in the Capuchin Custody of the Near East, including as Vice Provincial from 2001-2004. He was also a member of both the Bishop’s Council (2011-2020) and the Council of the Capuchin Custody of Arabia.
A requiem Mass will be offered in memory of Fr. Youssef on Tuesday, May 19 at 7 pm.
Our deepest condolences to the communities and families who were under Fr. Youssef’s care in Sharjah and other parts of the Gulf.