Corpus Christi Procession

By Sister Therese Maria Touma
On Sunday 26th June, for the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light joined in the Eucharistic Procession at Our Lady of Purgatory Church as the second station of the city-wide procession.
On this sunny afternoon, the Church was overflowing with more than 200 people, priests, religious men and women, children dressed in their Communion gowns, altar servers, Knights of Columbus – all walking together, following the Eucharist exposed visibly in the monstrance.
As they processed in the Church, singing, praying and worshipping Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament it was a beautiful sight, and even more so, to take part in this life-giving devotion.
Fr. Jack Morrison, pastor of Our Lady of Purgatory, warmly welcomed everyone and with the help of the parish choir reverently led the people in the praying of the Litany of the Eucharist, in Arabic and English. He concluded the Eucharistic Adoration with Benediction (blessing the people with Eucharist by making the sign of the Cross).

O Sacrament most Holy O Sacrament Divine!
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!


Maronite Traditions

PRE-ANAPHORA (ما قبل النافور):
The section that precedes the Service of the Eucharist (Anaphora). It consists of the transfer of the Offerings, (i.e., procession, with accompanying hymn), Prayers of Offering and Commemoration, Prayer of the Veil, Incensing and Service of Peace. In this third part of the Divine Liturgy we commemorate both the living and departed, as well as reflecting on our eternal destiny.
Taken from: Captivated by Your Teachings by Anthony J. Salim , Copyright © 2002 by Anthony J. Salim. Paulist Press, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. Reprinted by permission of Paulist Press, Inc. www.paulistpress.com

Maronite Spiritual Tradition

(Taken from: Aspects of Maronite History- By Chorbishop Seely Beggiani)

Pontifical Mission of 1596
In 1596 Pope Clement VIII decided to send another mission to the Maronites. The Jesuits Jerome Dandini and Fabius Bruno were chosen.
After meeting with the Patriarch, Fr. Dandini traveled throughout Lebanon and leaves an extensive description of the customs of people. He discovered that the people are pious and have a simple and ardent faith. They highly respect their priests and when they meet a cleric they kiss his hand and ask for his blessing. The women are held in high regard, and there is no scandal among them. Dandini describes the celebration of the Maronite Divine Liturgy noting that the laity have a great part in the chanting. The laity are given the Eucharist under both species.
Dandini goes on to observe that the priests and people alike assemble to recite the Divine Office. Secular and religious gather at midnight for Matins, and there is always a large number of lay people present. During the Lenten fast the Maronites eat nothing until a few hours before sunset. They abstain on Wednesdays and Fridays from meat and dairy products. They also fast twenty days before Christmas and fifteen days before the feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul (starting June 15 to June 28 inclusive) and the Assumption.


Maronite Chapel in honor of Our Lady of Lebanon

Maronite Chapel in honor of Our Lady of Lebanon forthcoming at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
Construction begins on long-awaited project.

Brooklyn, NY, April 25, 2011 – This Fall, a Maronite Chapel will open at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. The Chapel will honor our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Lebanon, and has been spearheaded by the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.

The Maronite Chapel will be a unique, Middle Eastern Catholic presence at the Shrine. It will also place the Maronite Church in America in the context of the Universal Church for all Shrine visitors, and appropriately recognize the rich tradition and legacy of the Maronite Church and her devotion to Our Lady.

The Chapel is being designed by Master Artist Louis R. DiCocco III, the President of St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio of Havertown, PA. Mr. DiCocco is well known for his work on the Chapel of Our Lady of La Vang at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, along with multiple projects at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Working closely with Mr. DiCocco on the Chapel design are Bishop Gregory Mansour, Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, and Chorbishop Michael G. Thomas, the Eparchy’s Vicar General and Chancellor, who have spent countless hours reviewing every aspect of the Chapel’s design.

The Chapel’s interior design is a deliberate attempt to place the worshipper in the stone churches of Lebanon. The altar is designed with a Syriac Cross as found in many ancient churches of Syria and Lebanon. A Cedar of Lebanon adorns the tile floor. The Crucifixion scene behind the altar, as well as the four evangelists on the left side of the altar and the Virgin and Child on the right, were taken from the 6th century Rabboula illustrated Book of Gospels. Saint Maron will greet the worshipper on one side of the entrance and Our Lady of Lebanon on the other.

The dedication for the new Chapel is tentatively scheduled for September 23, 2011, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C. and the 50th anniversary of priesthood of Chorbishop Seely Beggiani, Seminary Rector.


NAM Convention 2011

48th Annual National Maronite Convention

July 6-10, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA

Workshops and Presentation Topics

Thursday 7/7 - 10:00 – 11:30 am
– Back to the Maronite Roots

USEK – University of the Holy Spirit – Kaslik - Lebanon
The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik has been a leader in preserving the Maronite tradition and shaping the Maronite Identity. Being the first Maronite University, the panel will discuss how USEK participates in the liturgical and the musical reform. What USEK is doing to preserve Maronite manuscripts, photos, and archives. In addition, USEK will discuss the project for Maronite inscriptions in Lebanon.

- Discovering Our “Faith of the Mountain”
 Rev. George El-Khalli, Ph.D.

As parents, we are the caretakers of our children’s education; we are entrusted to carry the Church’s teachings into our family life. The “Faith of the Mountain” catechism series, which our churches use for our Maronite Christian Formation classes, has been updated. Please join us to review the materials that guide your children’s religious education through the school year. The series is designed for school-aged children from pre-school through 8th grade. Included in the series are the following topics: the Trinity, the Holy Mysteries, our Church family, the commandments, Maronite liturgy, First Penance and Eucharist, the Bible, the Creed, Church history, and the world’s religions. As parents, grandparents and godparents, we are responsible for the education of the next generation of Maronites.

- Maronite Liturgical Music
Father Geoffrey Abdallah and the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission

The songs that fill our hearts during Divine Liturgy and the poignancy of their words are incredible testaments to the richness of our culture. Come fill your senses with the beauty that is the Maronite Church. You will also be able to experience the first ever compilation of the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission. Come let the poetry that is our music fill your senses and soothe your soul.

– Saints of Lebanon and Our Pursuit of Another Canonization:
The Massabki Brothers
Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus, & Mr. Louis Ragy

Our faith has brought forward some very remarkable individuals who have brought miracles to those whose faith does not waiver. This year we celebrate the 1600th Anniversary of Saint Maron. Since the founding of the Church, we have had the honor of having saints live among us, including Saint Sharbel Makhlouf, Saint Nimatullah El-Hardini, and Saint Rafqa Choboq El-Rayes. NAM has taken up the staff to bring the Blessed Massabki Brothers to the level they deserve. Come learn why WE have the responsibility of guaranteeing their canonization.

- Lebanese Language in the 21st Century
Antoine Faddoul, M.S., AIAA

The interactive presentation will give the audience an overview about the Lebanese language, its history, teaching methods and the proposed system for writing it. The presentation will chronicle the linguistic and structural development of modern Lebanese from its ancient Canaanite/Aramaic roots to modern days. The audience will be briefed on the methods developed by the Lebanese Language Institute to provide resources for learning and teaching Lebanese. The presentation will discuss the role of IT in spreading of the Lebanese language and developing the modern Lebanese Latin Letters system [LLL] to make Lebanese a globally accessible language. The interactive component will include implementation of the LLL system in daily life for communication, learning and teaching. Samples exercises as well as a demonstration of an automated verb conjugation program will also be presented

Saturday 7/9 - 2:00 – 3:30 pm
– Making a difference in the Church
“Commission on Lebanon”
Panelist: Jacque Kallasy, & Nehmet Frem

Moderators: Chorbishop Seely Beggiani & Rev. Abdallah Zaidan, MLM
This presentation will help us to understand how we can all contribute in the growth of the Maronite Church on different levels: spiritual, economical, educational and social. Based on personal experiences and great contributions of our speakers, we will learn how we can have an active attitude within the Church, instead of having a merely passive observation. The future of the Church is not only on the hands of priests and bishops, but on the hand of every faithful person. In this workshop, we can learn how everyone of us, despite our weakness, can collaborate in the growth and renovation of our Church.


Sister Marla Marie's 25th Jubilee

By Sister Therese Maria

On Saturday May 28th, over 100 people came together at St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Church in Fall River to attend the joyful celebration of Mother Marla Marie's 25th Jubilee of religious consecration. Mother Marla Marie’s family, including her father, Lucas J. Lucas, and her two brothers John Lucas and Michael Lucas, and clergy, religious and friends from various places attended the Divine Liturgy and reception.
Bishop Gregory J. Mansour offered the Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by Chorbishop Michael Thomas, Chorbishop Joseph Kaddo, Fr. James Root, Fr. Rudy Gonzalez and Fr. David Desimone. (See the photo collage.)
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a reception dinner in the parish hall beautifully organized by Mrs. Therese Abouzied and Mrs. Rosanne Solomon, members of Our Lady of the Cedars in Boston. They have been great friends and supporters of our mission. We thank them dearly for all the sacrifices they made and their genuine love in organizing this successful event!
The lively program at the reception included a lineup of speeches given by close friends of Mother Marla Marie. Each personalized speech and presentation brought out the unique qualities of Mother, and the special witness of Christ she has given in living out her religious life.
We thank God for you, Mother Marla Marie and ask God’s continued blessing on your Maronite Servant mission!