Maronite Chapel of Our Lady of Lebanon Dedication - D.C.

            Washington, DC, September 26, 2011 The new Maronite Chapel of Our Lady of Lebanon at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was dedicated on Friday, September 23, 2011.  The Most Reverend Gregory J. Mansour, Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, presided over the ceremonies.  Joining Bishop Mansour were Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington and Chairman of the Basilica’s Board of Trustees who was the homilist; Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services; Maronite Bishop Robert J. Shaheen, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon; Bishop Stephen Hector Doueihi, Bishop Emeritus of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn; Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, Rector of the Basilica; several priests and seminarians associated with the Shrine; and more than one hundred Maronite Catholics and other Catholic faithful who attended the momentous occasion. 
“This is a beautiful day for the Maronites and for the National Shrine,” commented Bishop Mansour.  “The Church breathing with both lungs.”

Monsignor Rossi added, “With the dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of Lebanon, one of the most ancient Eastern Churches is now represented at the patronal Church of the United States.  The Chapel visibly expresses the beauty of another distinct community in the Roman Catholic Church, the Maronite Church.   Deep gratitude is extended to Bishop Gregory Mansour and the entire Maronite Community for their support of this project and most importantly for their devotion to Our Lady.”

The Chapel of Our Lady of Lebanon features a unique design, depicting a small Lebanese stone church.  The Chapel was designed by the St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio of Havertown, Pennsylvania.

The nation’s only Maronite Seminary, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary, which is located close to Catholic University of America in northwest Washington, D.C., celebrated its 50th Anniversary that evening, along with the 50th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of Seminary’s Rector, Chorbishop Seely Beggiani. 

Bishop Mansour and the Maronite Church in America now await the arrival of the Patriarch of the Maronite Church, His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai, on his first pastoral visit to America beginning on October 2.  Patriarch Rai is scheduled to visit the United Nations and multiple cities during his three-week trip to the United States and be featured at gala events across the country.  More details can be found at www.stmaron.org.