Fostering Vocations

Pope Benedict XVI in his message for 2012 World Day of Prayer for Vocations (April 29) emphasizes the need for parish communities, organizations and especially families to play a vital role in fostering vocations.  In his message, titled “Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God”, the Pope says, “It is important for the Church to create the conditions that will permit many young people to say “yes” in generous response to God’s loving call. The task of fostering vocations will be to provide helpful guidance and direction along the way.”

The family is especially highlighted in the Pope’s message, and he challenges parents to be a “community of life and love.”  He writes, “Indeed families are not only the privileged place for human and Christian formation; they can also be the primary and most excellent seed-bed of vocations to a life of consecration to the Kingdom of God, by helping their member to see, precisely within the family, the beauty and the importance of the priesthood and the consecrated life.”

Our Holy Father also stressed the need to help our young people to grow in a life of prayer to help them discern their vocation in life whether it is to marriage, priesthood, or religious life.  He explains, “Central to this should be love of God’s word nourished by a growing familiarity with Sacred Scripture, and attentive and unceasing prayer, both personal and in community; this will make it possible to hear God’s call amid all the voices of daily life. But above all, the Eucharist should be the heart of every vocation journey.”
(World Day for Vocations is this Sunday, April 29th.) 


Enjoying Our Vibrant Youth

We joined the MYO & MYA members from St. Theresa’s parish of Brockton for dinner at the Fire & Ice in Providence, R.I.  Abouna Tony Mouannes, parish administrator, invited us for this enjoyable evening with the youth.   
Abouna Tony concluded the social gathering with a meeting to plan the next activity, an evening on the topic of prayer, followed by adoration of the Holy Mysteries.  The Maronite Servants will be giving the presentation on prayer at this May gathering.

As Maronite Servants we support the MYO & MYA groups spiritually in our prayers, and by offering faith talks, retreats and days of reflection.

Rest in His Light - Retreat

We all know that life can get real busy… so much “to do”, demands, distractions, and not enough time “to be”, to slow down, to rest the body and soul.
We have carved out a 24 hour Retreat for you to come, pray and rest in the Lord’s Light at our convent home in Dartmouth, M.A.
·        Friday June 1st  @ 6:00PM to  June 2nd  until 6:00PM (overnight stay)
·        Women ages 18-30
·        No cost, donations accepted
·        Includes prayer time, reflections, bible study, walk on the beach, quiet surroundings, and great hospitality!
·        For more information or reservation please call or email Sister Marla Marie  at sister@maroniteservants.org   Ph: (508) 996 1753


New Sunday

New Sunday is the eighth day of the Church's celebration of the resurrection. The first week of the Season of Resurrection, the Week of Hawareyeen, has come to a conclusion. During this week we have seen the various appearances of the Lord: to Mary Magdalene, the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, to Peter, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the disciples gathered in the upper room. Now the appearances of the Lord are over. In overcoming the hesitation of Thomas, the Lord revealed to the apostles the truth of the resurrection. Christ has risen, truly risen!

New Sunday, once and for all, puts an end to the old way of looking at the Lord. He is no longer revealed in the flesh (as the disciples experienced Him during His life with them); nor in glory (as Thomas did). From now on, He is revealed in Spirit, through the experience of faith and in the Mysteries (sacraments). Only in the Spirit is there a sharing in His mystery of redemption. His word is crystal clear and resounds for all ages and generations:

“You have become a believer,
Because you saw me.
Blessed are they who have not
Seen and have believed.”

(From Prayer of the Faithful According to the Maronite Liturgical Year).
On Easter Sunday at John Paul II Mission parish in White Plains,
 with the Hayek Family from San Diego.


Rite of the Lamp at our Convent

On Wednesday evening of this Passion Week, we prayed the Rite of the Lamp at the Mother of the Light Convent, Dartmouth M.A. Father Nicholas a priest from the Fall River Diocese celebrated the prayer service for us. The Chedid family from Our Lady of Purgatory, New Bedford joined us in prayer. The prayers comprise of hymns, litanies, lighting of the wicks of the lamp, prayers of the blessing of oil (by a priest), a prayer to the Holy Spirit and the anointing of the faithful with this oil.

Below are some remarks made about the Rite of the Lamp found in the Liturgical text:

-         A ball of dough with seven wicks inserted into it to be prepared in a plate. Next to it there is a vessel filled with oil. The wicks represent the seven lamps envisioned by the prophet Jeremiah and by John in Revelation. The oil is to be blessed by the celebrant and then poured over the seven wicks.

-         At the conclusion of the Rite of the Lamp, the priest dips a cotton swab in the oil and in the form of a cross, anoints the forehead of the members of the community saying, “For the forgiveness of your sins and faults, and for the healing of your body and soul.”

-         The purpose of the Rite of the Lamp is to plead the Lord to receive the contrition (sorrow) of the faithful repentant and to grant health to the sick.

-         This Rite is administered by the Eastern Churches and it is neither obligatory nor necessary.

-         It is a simple blessing given by a priest.

-         The Rite is administered to the members of a community, the sick and the healthy.

-         It highlights the need for us, as we remember the Passion, “of healing of our body and soul” through the oil blessed by the priest himself on this occasion. The community as a whole is anointed. The whole community feels the need of healing “in body and soul”. While the oil is for the healing of the body, repentance and contrition of heart are the oil of the soul.