Sister Therese Maria assisted in and presented on the works of mercy at the 2016 National Maronite Youth Organization workshop directed by Fr. Gary George and his awesome team from July 16 to July 21 at Latrobe, PA. Bishop Gregory Mansour, Fr. Rudy, Fr. Bassam, Fr. Simone, Fr. Alex, Fr. Vince and a number of Seminarians were also present.
In this Year of Mercy, the engaging theme was "God Quest". The beatitudes were used as a road map to help our energetic teens to grow closer to the ultimate treasure, Jesus our Lord and Savior. The dynamic week included prayer, interactive activities, sports, ice breakers, breakout discussions, Lectio Divina (which Sister led) confession, missions, daily Liturgy and a host of guest speakers. It truly was a blessed week of grace, healing, learning and transformation for all those who attended.
The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light attended this year’s National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) Convention in San Francisco, California from July 7th to July 10th, 2016. We were blessed with the opportunity to meet and mingle with over 1,500 of our Maronite parishioners who attended from all over the US to meet and greet our Patriarch, his Eminence and Beatitude Cardinal Beshara Peter Rai. This is the second time in NAM Convention history that a Maronite Patriarch has blessed us with his presence.
On a personal note, my parents, Joseph and Wendy, and my brother, Peter, also came to the Convention all the way from Sydney, Australia.
We had a table in the exhibitors area where we met so many new (and not so new) people and were able to speak to them one on one. There were a number of highlights: we attended two Theologies on Tap. The first was held at the Exploratorium in Downtown San Francisco and was hosted by Fr. Tony Massad and Sister Therese Maria. The second was held in the Atrium of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and was hosted by Fr. Guy Sarkis. We were able to listen to a number of talks on a wide variety of topics including “prayer and entrepreneurship” and the “four pillars of healthy living”.
We attended the Patriarch’s Panel Commission on the affairs of Lebanon in its current political and economic state, where we were able to listen to the many concerns and issues plaguing Lebanon at the moment. Directly after the panel, the Patriarch filmed his weekly teaching on the Gospel on Telelumiere. His topic was the life of St. Charbel in honor of the saint’s feastday coming up on July 23.
Also, we were interviewed by Telelumiere and were asked about the foundation of our community, and what brings us to NAM each year. We attended the evangelical concert of Lebanon’s Christian singer, Joumana Mdawar, who moved the audience to tears by her strong faith, radiant joy and sweet angelic voice.
At the conclusion of the Convention, we spent a day of sight-seeing in San Francisco with my family. We saw the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Cable Car Musuem, the famous Lombard Street, the Victorian houses of old and even the house of “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
May God bless the efforts and work of all those involved in this year’s Convention. It was a great success. We look forward to attending next year in Greenville, South Carolina, God willing.
To celebrate Independence Day on Monday, July 4th, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light hosted a cook-out with the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth at the Mother of Light Convent in Dartmouth. The afternoon was filled with prayer and play, which began with Ramsho (Maronite Evening Prayer) and concluded with lawn games and basketball, and a dabke lesson.
By Sr Natalie Sayde Salameh
The LOL Club (Light of Life) began on June 27th with a week of learning about God’s merciful love in engaging video, crafts, bible sharing, games, prayer, choir practice, dabke rehearsal, and snacks. Sr. Therese Maria organized the program along the theme of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, “In the Footsteps of Mercy”, and focused on the specific ways that lead us to Jesus, who is the visible face of our Father’s mercy.
Day one centered on the ultimate gift of God’s mercy to us in our Baptism and our call to the Catholic Faith. Day two was on the chief means by which we communicate with God, prayer. Prayer brings us closer to God’s mercy, and awakens in us the need for his grace. Day three focused on the Mystery of Penance (Confession). Is there anything greater than experiencing His forgiveness? Indeed, many of the children on this day took the opportunity of going to confession. Day four focused on living the works of mercy as depicted in the life of soon-to-be St. Teresa of Calcutta.
LOL Club Maronite summer camp concluded July 1st with Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Church by Fr. James Doran and Fr. Fadi Rouhana, attended by LOL members, volunteers, and parents.
After today’s closing Liturgy, all those in attendance enjoyed a lunch, arcade games, bumper cars and boats at Grand Prix in Seekonk. The children enjoyed our time together, and it was great to hear that affirmed by the parents who mentioned to us that their kids were “having so much fun” and making so many new friends.