By Therese Touma
Sister Marla Marie’s presence “down under” was warmly welcomed by our Maronite community in Sydney during her visit from February 19 and continuing through March 4, 2009.
Among her travels, Sister Marla Marie met with Most Reverend Ad Abikaram, Bishop of the Saint Maroun Eparchy of Australia. ‘Maroniteness’, the vital word Bishop Ad strongly emphasised in their lively conversation, encompassing the living out of our whole Maronite Spirituality and tradition. Sister shared with Bishop Ad explaining the unique mission and charism of the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light, in imitation our Blessed Mother to serve as spiritual mothers alongside the priests in our parishes. Sister added how she perceives this “much needed mission of the feminine presence to be a source of new life in our Maronite Church”.
Voice of Charity, the twenty four hour Maronite Radio station in Sydney, interviewed Sister Marla Marie for some of their programs. In the interview, Sister shared her thoughts about the importance of making the Divine Liturgy the center of our lives and at the same time realizing who we are as Maronites and why we do what we do in the Liturgy. Personally, I appreciated how Sister used our own terminology to express the significance of learning and living out the treasures our Maronite spirituality (i.e. Divine Liturgy instead of Mass).
During her two week stay, Sister Marla Marie experienced a taste of Maronite flavor on visits to some of Sydney’s seven Maronite parishes. In three of her parish visits to the Youth, she gave informative presentations on the mission and spirituality of the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light. Specifically, at St Joseph’s in Croydon, Sister presented an insightful discernment talk on her personal “Witness to Vocation and Mission”.
I pray that the good news of the MSCL continues to spread, encouraging young women especially those within our Maronite community to be generous and open in considering a vocation to this new mission. To learn more, visit their website maroniteservants.org.
(Therese Touma is an applicant in the process of joining the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light. She is pictured below with Sister Marla Marie.)