Coronavirus: assistant parish priest in Sharjah dies from complications of the disease

Father Youssef Sami Youssef, 62, served Arab worshippers at St Michael’s Church Sharjah

Father Youssef Sami Youssef, who died due to complications arising from Covid-19, served St, Michael's Church Sharjah. Courtesy: Facebook
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An assistant parish priest in the UAE has died after suffering from “multiple complications” arising from Covid-19.

Father Youssef Sami Youssef, 62, served the Arabic-speaking community at St Michael’s Church Sharjah.

The “outgoing and lively” priest had been receiving treatment, including ventilation and stem-cell therapy, at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Ajman.

But his condition continued to deteriorate and he died on Sunday as a result of multiple organ failure.

“Fr Youssef was under treatment for almost three weeks at the multi-speciality hospital and received expert care, ventilation and stem cell therapy,” the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia said.

“However since he already had some underlying medical conditions, he soon started to develop critical multiple organ failure.”

The vicariate said his outgoing and lively personality would be sorely missed by all who knew him, especially the Arabic and French-speaking Catholics in the vicariate, where he served several churches throughout his career.

More than 700 parishioners paid tribute to Fr Youssef on the vicariate’s Facebook page, where his death was announced to his congregation.

“May his soul rest in peace. I used to attend his Masses when he served in Abu Dhabi,” wrote one.

“Father Youssef was a humble man, I heard that he lived a difficult life, as he lost so many family members in the Lebanese war, yet he kept the faith.

“He is without a doubt in the Lord's heavens. A good humble man he was, a faithful priest and a caring soul. May God have mercy on your soul Father. We will miss you.”

Another wrote he would remember his smile.

“Even though I never interacted with him so much ... but he was one person I came across with a smile when I used to see him before the Sunday 8pm Mass. Rest in peace, Father.”

Born in Lebanon in 1957, Father Youssef joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin of the General Custody of the Near East in 1977, and was ordained to the priesthood 11 years later.

He had been a missionary in the Gulf region since 1993, and served several UAE communities, including St Mary’s Church in Dubai, St Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi and St Mary’s Church Al Ain.

He was also stationed in Doha and Manama for a time between 2004 and 2011. But since 2016, he served St Micheal’s Church Sharjah.

Details of his burial and memorial Mass have yet to be made public.