Maronite Servants Present Catechesis on St. Maron

In response the 1600th anniversary commemorating the death of Saint Maron, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light have creatively developed a curriculum on Saint Maron for religious formation to present to grades K-6, and the teens in MYO. In presenting these interactive lessons, the Sisters use various props, Scripture, visual technologies and activities, to help the youth to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Maronite spirituality, traditions, and way of prayer. Also, the Maronite Servants have a presentation prepared for the MYA.
St. Theresa's Maronite Church in Brockton has already requested the Maronite Servants to offer this program as part of their Heritage Day catechesis. The presentations on St. Maron will teach on his history, his importance in the founding of our Maronite Church, and his current influence on Maronite spirituality, and way of worship. In the teen presentation, the Sisters discuss growing in virtue and weeding out vice in our lives. St. Maron compared this to the analogy of cultivating the garden of our hearts, to make them fertile in receiving and living God’s Word.
Overall, this curriculum will provide children with inspiring information about St. Maron and engaging activities to reinforce the lesson. If your parish is interested in these presentations, contact Sister Marla Marie at sister@maroniteservants.org or phone 781-331-3290.


May he rest in peace - Archbishop Francis M. Zayek

Join us in prayer for the repose of soul of  His Excellency, Archbishop Francis Mansour Zayek, 90, emeritus archbishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, who died on the September 14, 2010, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Here is the September 14, 2010 letter of Bishop Gregory John Mansour, Eparchy of  Saint Maron of Brooklyn, addressed to the Bishops:

"Dear Brother Bishops,
We just received the sad news that our founding bishop, who served us for over 30 years, Archbishop Francis M. Zayek, passed away on the Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14, 2010, in Lebanon.
Archbishop Zayek was born October 18, 1920, the son of Mansour and Mariam (Khoury) Zayek in Manzanillo, Cuba. In 1931, the entire family immigrated to Lebanon.

After seminary studies in Lebanon and in Rome, he was ordained a priest on March 17, 1946 in Rome. After completing a doctorate in canon law in Rome, he was appointed to serve the Maronite community in Cairo where he also worked in the Apostolic Nunciature. He later returned to Rome and served as the Promoter of Justice at the Roman Rota.

On May 31, 1962, Pope John XXIII appointed him bishop to serve the Maronites in Brazil, and he was consecrated on August 5, 1962 in Dimane, Lebanon, by Patriarch Paul Peter Cardinal Meouchi.
Archbishop Zayek was one of the last surviving bishops, who as a bishop, attended all of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council.

On January 10, 1966, Pope Paul VI established the Maronite Apostolic Exarchate in the United States and appointed Bishop Zayek as the first Exarch. He was installed on June 11, 1966 in Detroit, MI, where he would establish his See.

Pope Paul VI raised the Exarchate to the rank of Diocese (Eparchy) on November 20, 1971, and he appointed Bishop Zayek as the first bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron, for all Maronites of the United States. He was installed as such on June 4, 1972. The See was moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1977.
In recognition of his pioneering work in the United States, he was given the personal title of Archbishop by Pope John Paul II on December 10, 1982. Upon reaching the canonical age, Archbishop Zayek retired in 1996.
Archbishop Zayek was predeceased by two brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his brother, Elias, in Brazil, and his sister, Lydia, in Lebanon, and several nieces and nephews.

A Forty Day Divine Liturgy is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27, 2010, at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 109 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY, at 7:00 p.m. A Meal of Mercy will follow in the Cathedral hall. You are most welcome to join the clergy, religious and laity of the Maronite Church to honor this truly great Churchman and to pray for the repose of his soul. ...
The Maronite Church in the United States is deeply indebted to the archbishop for his zealous efforts in establishing the strong, vibrant Maronite community we have today. May Archbishop Zayek share in the glory of the Cross which we celebrate this day!

Bishop Robert Shaheen and I extend our profound condolences to the family and many friends of Archbishop Zayek, and to all who loved him and in any way made his work a truly graced effort to the glory of God. May he rest in peace."

Archbishop Frances M. Zayek (left), Bishop Robert Shaheen (right).


Feast of the Holy Cross

By Father Anthony J. Salim
Pastor of St. Theresa in Brockton, MA

Commentary on the Readings of the Feast
Opening chant:
The Lord reigns, clothed in majesty, Alleluia!
I am the Bread of Life, said our Lord.
From on high I came to earth so all might live in me.
Pure Word without flesh I was sent from the Father.
Mary’s womb received me,
like good earth a grain of wheat.
Behold! The priests bear me aloft to the altars.
Alleluia! Accept our offerings.

Our Liturgy: The Lectionary Readings for the Feast:
1Cor 1:18-25 Jn 12:20-32

That the saving Cross of Jesus Christ is at the centre of the Christian experience is beyond doubt.  without the great sacrifice of his life for the taking away of sins, the most traditional of Christian theology from the time of St Paul on says, we would not be able to reach eternal happiness with the Blessed Trinity.
Yet, Christian Tradition has always seen two sides of this Cross: death and shame, yes, on Great Friday of the Crucifixion; but glory and power too, as verses 31-32 of today’s selection from Paul indicate. It is not always easy to speak about this paradox of the Christian life. Paul indicates this in his First Letter to the Corinthians, verses 18 to 25. Who could imagine then that a criminal’s death could be the standard of of a religion? We are, in the words of Paul, “on the way to salvation”; thus, we believe this talk of the Cross.
When we think of the Cross, most Christians, if pushed, would probably think of Great Friday before Easter. However, since the 4th century, with the story of St Helena’s finding the true Cross, this great feast, celebrated on 14 September, tells us of the “other side” of the Cross: glory after suffering, and God’s power to save.
This paradox is stated in an earthy image in John’s Gospel: The dying of the grain of wheat grows into a source of nourishment and life. Thus, we share in the glory of Christ, through his dying.

Patristic Commentary
JESUS AS THE GRAIN OF WHEAT. However, he (Jesus) says, my death must not upset you. As indeed a grain of wheat is just a single grain before falling into the earth, after it has fallen and decomposed, it sprouts forth in great glory and produces double fruit by showing before everyone its riches in its ears and display­ing the spectacle of its beauty to those looking on. This is the same way you should think about me. Now I am alone, and just one more man among obscure people without any glory. But when I undergo the passion of the cross, I will be raised in great honor. And when I produce much fruit, then everyone will know me—not only the Jews but also the people of the entire world will call me their Lord. Then, not even the spiritual powers will refuse to worship me. (THEODORE OF MOPSUESTIA, COMMENTARY ON JOHN)


Help Support the Sisters by Recycling your Used Electronics

Do you have old laptops, cell phones, Mp3 players, digital cameras, and other technology sitting around the house or office collecting dust and cobwebs?  Why not turn them into money for our charity.  Here's how...

A gadget drive is a new way to fundraise that turns your used electronics into cash to support a cause. Contributing to the drive is simple. Just visit the drive webpage at http://maroniteservants.gazelle.com, find the value of the gadgets you would like to donate, and send them to Gazelle (SHIPPING IS FREE). The value will go to support the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light. If you would like to donate, please go to Support the Maronite Servants  to learn more about the drive and how you can participate!

Would you please promote this on your Facebook, blog, or to your email list? Many folks have at least one old item sitting around the house. 
                                                         old cell phones =  $ for charity

Photo Gallery Update

Visit our updated Photo Gallery on our website. The labeled photos contain our various visits to Maronite parishes and our travels to Eparchial events. Some memorable photo files to mention include our attendance to Abouna Lahood’s Retirement Liturgy at Our Lady of Cedars; Ramsho & Supper Evenings at the Monastery; our teen retreat ‘Radiate His Light’; our recreational activities such as walks on the beach, making brownies; and visiting the Shrine for the Shroud of Turin in New York; our visit to Abouna Kesrouani at Yale University; catechism classes with fifth graders at Immaculate Conception parish, and more.
Please share this link with family and friends. The photos speak for themselves of the joy and balance that we live as Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.
Keep posted to our Photo Gallery to see more pictures to come: our visit to Washington DC for classes with Chor Bishop Beggiani, the ordinations of Fr. Vince and Fr. Tony, the NAM Convention in Alabama and the recent Assumption Feast pilgrimage in Ohio.