Catechesis - Our Lady of the Cedars Boston

Catechesis - Our Lady of the Cedars Boston
On Sunday, February 23, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light catechized the chlldren on the approaching season of Great Lent at Our Lady of the Cedars parish in Boston.  Mother Marla Marie explained to the children and youth that Great Lent is a forty-day journey in which we seek to deepen our relationship with Christ through prayer, sacrifice and fasting.

The children were encouraged by the Sisters to prepare for their forty-day journey by giving examples of some of the sacrifices they may consider. One little girl said that instead of watching her usual hour of television every night, she would be helping her mommy in the kitchen.

Fr. Georges El-Khalli, Pastor, visited the class and reminded the children to persevere in their sacrifices for love of Jesus.  The class concluded with a Lenten craft project.


Women's Overnight Retreat

The Spirituality of St. Maron and Great Lent

By Natalie Salameh

On February 16-17, 2014, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light hosted and facilitated an overnight retreat at the Mother of Light Convent for the young women of the Boston, Brockton and Lawrence parishes.
The focus of the retreat was on the life, spirituality and asceticism of St. Maron, founder of the Maronite Church, and the approaching season of Great Lent.

The retreatants were able to experience the healing power of forgiveness through the Mystery of Penance, followed by Divine Liturgy, offered by Fr. Nichols.  Mother Marla Marie gave a presentation on the life and spirituality of St. Maron. As Maronites we have a lasting legacy and heritage of prayer and sacrifice given to us by our father founder, St. Maron. A life of love of God, prayer, and asceticism were the hallmarks of St. Maron's spirituality.  

Using the example of St. Maron, the young ladies were guided and encouraged by Mother Marla Marie to think about the upcoming season of Great Lent and how we can make the most of it to deepen our relationship with Christ. St. Maron, because of his love for Christ and his desire to follow Him, went to the extreme limits of self-denial.
Jesus' love for us has no limits, and He held nothing back from us. His mission was one of sacrifice and prayer, as He obeyed His Father "unto death, death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8).

Mother Marla Marie encouraged and guided the young ladies to ask themselves: "What am I really attached to, which part of my life isn't receiving the light of Christ?, in which area do I need to grow as a Christian?".  With plenty of food for thought, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the retreatants came up with their Lenten resolutions.

For those interested in attending an overnight retreat for a spiritual recharge, the next one will be held in May of this year. Please contact Mother Marla Marie for further details at sister@maroniteservants.org


Afternoon of Recollection - Feast of St. Maron

By Natalie Salameh, Postulant 

On Sunday February 9, the Feast of St. Maron, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light hosted an afternoon of recollection at the Mother of Light Convent for ladies from the New Bedford and Boston Maronite parishes.

The focus was on the life, spirituality and asceticism of the Saint Maron, founder of the Maronite Church.  Mother Marla Marie explained the origins of St. Maron and his legacy, who he was, where he came from, and how he came to have such a large number of followers, today known as Maronites.

Mother Marla Marie explained that St. Maron sought to offer God more than routine acts of piety. He withdrew to a mountain at Kfar Nabo, Syria where he could more rigorously practice prayer, fasting and asceticism. St. Maron would spend long nights standing in prayer, fasting for weeks and lived out in the open, exposed to the elements.

This is the heritage and legacy that St. Maron has passed on today to us as Maronites, one of sacrifice and prayer. Mother Marla Marie encouraged the ladies to reflect on how they could apply the spirituality of St. Maron to their everyday lives. All of these women as wives and mothers understood that the life of St. Maron, the life of sacrifice, was indeed a reflection of their own lives, as they live to support and provide for their families.

But the beautiful thing is that these ladies realized that no sacrifice is too small in God's eyes. He sees each and every one of us, and what we offer to Him. The Lord is never outdone in generosity! He sees the small sacrifices we offer Him and He makes them something great.
The afternoon concluded with an hour before the Holy Mysteries in our Chapel of Saint Maron.  A supper followed where our guests received a taste of the Maronite Servants’ hospitality with lots of fellowship, sharing and laughter.


Natalie's Entrance Day

The Feast of the Presentation and also the celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life was selected as the entrance day for Natalie Salameh to join the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.  At the Vigil Liturgy on February 1st, His Excellency Bishop Gregory blessed Natalie, and Mother Marla Marie welcomed her to the Maronite Servants at the parish of Our Lady of Lebanon in Waterbury, Connecticut.  Father Dany Abi-Akar, pastor, hosted us for a dinner to offer congratulations.
Natalie Salameh comes to the Maronite Servant of Christ the Light from Sydney Australia, and she is the daughter of Joseph and Wendy Salameh, parishioners at the Maronite parish of St. Sharbel. Please join us in praying for her family and for Natalie as she begins the journey of religious life.  

It was an event of joy for our small community of Maronite Servants.  Natalie said of her experience: "I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and happiness.  I had come home because Jesus' heart is the place that I call home.  I felt the all-embracing warmth of his great love as he welcomed me home into his heart."


Priest Visits

We were blessed to have Qurbono with Abouna Jack of New Bedford and Abouna Gaby of Worcester, and later joining us  for lunch Chorbishop Kaddo of Fall River.  We enjoyed the company of our area Maronite priests and are grateful for their service and support to us.