MYO – Regional Retreat Weekend 2010

MYO retreatants.  Abouna Jean and Abouna Jack are center.
By Therese Touma

The Maronite Servants were able to participate in the MYO regional retreat for New England held on October 22-24 at the Wisdom Retreat House in Litchfield, Connecticut. Fr. Jean Younes (Danbury) and Fr. Jack Morrison (New Bedford) directed a dynamic group of 50 teens from several parishes, and were assisted by a great crew of adult advisors.

Speaking on the theme of the Theology of the Body, Dr. Allan Ramey, a Maronite, was the main presenter. Dr. Ramey is a member of St. Anthony’s in Lawrence and a dedicated father of eight children.
In his engaging talks, Dr. Ramey explained some of the teachings on Theology of the Body citing the work of Pope John Paul II. He directed his presentation to the challenges faced by teens, and how the Theology of the Body can help them to understand and seek their vocation “calling”, to either marriage, the priesthood or religious life.

Dr. Ramey beautifully pointed out that just as God created man and woman to become one flesh in matrimony and bring forth a child as a fruit of their love, God too is also here revealing to us something of his own inner life. In married life, we can see a reflection of the Trinitarian nature of God as love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I was inspired by Dr. Ramey’s sharing of his journey of faith. He witnessed how daily prayer, frequenting the mysteries (sacraments) and the attendance of at daily Liturgy have strengthened and sustained him throughout his life, especially in the difficult times. He inspired the teens and I to aim higher in knowing and living the virtues, in seeking good choices and staying close to the Mysteries of Penance and Eucharist.

On Saturday, the group visited Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Litchfield, and under the remarkably colored fall leaves, we prayed the outdoor Stations of the Cross led by Father Jack.
That evening, Fr. Vincent, Fr. Jack and Fr. Jean heard confessions in the chapel. This was an awesome way to conclude the day in thanksgiving, and in seeking and receiving the ever-flowing mercy of God.


Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops

Middle East Synod Opening Liturgy at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. 
Our Patriarch Sfier concelebrating with His Holiness. 
Read more about this important Synod 
which convened on Oct. 11th and concludes this week.

Sunday Scripture Reflection
In the Maronite Church this Sunday is the 6th Week of the Season of the Holy Cross.
By Abouna Anthony J. Salim, Pastor of St. Theresa's Maronite Church, Brockton MA

This Sunday’ s Readings make a practical point, which is good deeds that get us ready for the 2nd Coming of our Lord and for entering into his joy, as the Lord Jesus promises in the parable of the talents.

First Reading: Galatians 6:1-10
The believer is “ spiritual” as long as one submits to the Holy Spirit, and as long as the Spirit bears fruit in that one, so that one may see, understand, and compare Christian spiritual truths, in order to have a deep, correct, and global knowledge (1Corinthians 2:15). “ The Law of Christ” is the Law of the Spirit that Christ himself lived during his life on our earth, and the one who accomplishes this law becomes like Christ Jesus. Love is the first fruit of the Spirit and the fulfillment of the Law. It compels us to bear our brothers’ and sisters’ sins and shortcomings in order to assist them and lead them to conversion. This is the rule of participation among believers, and every believer has to express this Law of love, the Law of Christ, in one’ s life, acts, and relations with everyone. Next, the Apostle Paul warns believers about growing tired of doing good. He exhorts them to a personal and serious work, a faithful and unceasing struggle, as they long for the Day of the 2nd Coming of the Lord, who comes to reward them and repay everyone according to one’ s deeds. There is herein an application of the Lord Jesus’ teaching on the Parable of the Talents, this Sunday’ s Gospel.

“T’was grace that brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home!”

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
This parable highlights the responsibility of the believer and the obligation of investing God’ s gifts, to settle a growing account to God on the Day of his Coming. The talent is a coin of gold or silver whose value is six thousand denarii (pl.), a denarius (sing.) being the daily wage of a laborer. This is an expression of God’ s richness and unending bounty: He gave us not only mind and will, a physical body
and health, and the earth’ s goods; he gave us also his heavenly Kingdom and allowed us to share in his divine life itself (in baptism), everyone according to his capacity. The Master’ s journey is, then, his return after a long time. It is a proof of the sufficient time given to us to act with our liberty and full responsibility until the 2nd Coming of the Lord, who will settle account with us. The reward is also gratuitous, freely given, an eternal joy with the Master! Punishment is for the servant who hid the talent in the ground and disobeyed his Master’ s command: “ … you should have put my silver on the money changer’ s table!” Furthermore, he disfigured his Master’ s image and represented him as authoritarian, unjust, greedy, and harsh, thus damaging is relationship with his Master as well. The adventure of faith is the thing that is needed, and faith is the acceptance of and faithfulness to God’ s grace freely given to


Pro-Life Update - Election Day

By Deacon Nicholas Mammi

Office of Family and Sanctity of Life

Election Day is three weeks away. Please exercise your right as a U.S. citizen and fullfill your Christian duty at the polls. More than 460 seats of Congress (both in the House and the Senate) will be determined by this mid-term election. Additionally, each vote as a voice of the people, contributes toward a message to the White House. I urge you to visit the polls on election day and vote pro-life. If you are not familiar with the candidates, begin your research now and examine the candidates' platform and voting history. Spread the word about pro-life candidates among friends and colleagues. Exhort the Christian assembly to vote pro-life.

I hope the following links will offer assistance in the development of an informed vote.

good article on the mid-term effect
2010 Senate Races
2010 Senate endorsements by National Right to Life
U.S. House of Representatives scorecard by National Right to Life

I will close with the following reflection by Archbishop Raymond Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis --
"Some will say that the defense of innocent life is only one issue among many, that it is important but not fundamental. They are wrong. In the natural moral law, the good of life is the most fundamental good and the condition for the enjoyment of all other goods."


Eastern Christian New Media Awards -- Nominate Us

Nominate RadiateHisLight.blogspot.com for Best Group Blog & Most Visually Attractive Blog for Eastern Christian New Media Awards.
Nominations have opened for this year for the 2010 awards. Please send in your nominations and spread the word, the deadline October 31st. 
Help us to get nominated for voting.  In 2009, we were awarded the Most Visually Attractive Blog.


Witnessing For Life

Sister Marla Marie (r), Abouna Salim (c), Therese Touma (l), praying the rosary.
  by Therese Touma

On Wednesday October 6th, the Maronite Servants along with Fr. Anthony Salim, pastor of St. Theresa’s Maronite Church, Brockton participated in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in Attleboro, M.A. In the wind and rain, holding our umbrellas and rosaries, we offered up an hour of prayer outside a local abortion facility in witness to the sanctity of life.
With October being the month of the Holy Rosary and Respect Life, we prayed the four mysteries and asked our Blessed Mother to pray with us for the intentions of all the unborn children, for the conversion of those who work at the abortion centers and for the closure of all these facilities.

40 Days for Life is a pro-life campaign organized by lay people promoting the value and dignity of life.
Through the use of peaceful prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach, 40 days for Life seeks to make the public aware of the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, and ultimately put an end to the evil of abortion in America, and all over the world. Visit the website for more details.

The 40 day period began September 22nd and will continue through to October 31st. In total there are 238 locations in the US, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark participating 40 Days for Life. On day 15, it has been reported on their website that campaigns of prayer and fasting have so far saved 166 babies from abortion!

In 2005, in America alone, 1.21 million babies were aborted. Since 2007 six coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns have taken place. As a result of these joined efforts, participants have witnessed many blessings from God. Some are noted below.

Reports document 2,811 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones that have been reported 36 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry.
Seven abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns.
Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets.

More than 850 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV  programs from coast to coast ... and overseas.


Sisters Request Your Help

The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light Sisters now have a place to call home “Mary, Mother of the Light Monastery”, in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. “This home will help our current and future Sisters to live a life of prayer, ministry, and study. Our doors are open to welcome you, the faithful, for retreats, conferences, days of prayer and other apostolic works and activities,” said Sister Marla Marie, superior.

Founded in 2008 in collaboration with Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, this new Congregation of nuns serve the faithful in our Maronite parishes. Sr. Marla Marie accepted the first two candidates this past February, Therese Touma and Tresa Van Heusen. These young women are in the formation program preparing to consecrate their lives in service to the Church.

The recently purchased home is situated on five acres and had served as the former novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Hope who owned this home since 1960 after acquiring it from the original owners, the Prescott Family, who had it built in 1895. Over the years, as the Dominican Sisters declined in numbers and advanced in age, this property became too much for them to maintain.

“We are grateful to be able to purchase this property, thanks to the help of seed money from the Eparchy of St. Maron and a mortgage,” Sr. Marla Marie explained. “We are happy to think that soon we will be able to move into this permanent home, but before we can move in, much required renovation work must be done.”

This is a lovely house, but it is in need of great repair. The Sisters immediate needs are to repair the roof and gutters; update the plumbing; install furnace safety valves; install a security fire/alarm system; paint the interior; bring the electrical service up to code; upgrade the bathrooms, among other renovations.

“I ask for your help to provide the needed funds to get this new Monastery up and running so that we can move in before Christmas,” requests Sr. Marla Marie, adding, “would you please donate to our renovation fund and enlist others to help us too? Our postulants, Tresa and Therese, and I have a huge task at hand, but with your help our burden will be considerably lightened.”

For more information on how to help the Sisters refer to the “News and Events” section of their website or call Sister Marla Marie at 781-331-3290. Tax deductible donations can be given via the website through PayPal or they can be mailed to Sr. Marla Marie, 109 Remsen Street, Brooklyn NY 11201. Thank you for your support.