On Friday, April 25 to Sunday, April 27, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light were invited by Father Naji Kiwan, Pastor of the Blessed John Paul II Maronite Mission in Sleepy Hollow, NY, to participate in the weekend festivities the Mission held in honor of the canonization of their patron, now Pope Saint John Paul II.
On Friday, April 25, the Maronite Youth Organization (MYO) of the Mission, and a number of other teens arranged and attended a concert by the Catholic band, Full Armor. The teens sang and danced along with the band, and Sr. Therese Maria was chosen by the band to sing and dance along with them. (see photo)
On Saturday, April 26, we attended the vigil Roman Catholic Liturgy at the Immaculate Conception parish which shares its facilities with the Mission, and was concelebrated by his Excellency, Bishop Gregory. J. Mansour and Fr. Naji. The Vigil Liturgy was followed by a beautiful Gala Dinner at the Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford, NY. It was absolutely wonderful to see the Maronite Catholics, the Roman Catholics and those who celebrate Mass according to the Tridentine Latin tradition, all coming together to commemorate and honor the new Saints, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII.
I think each Catholic tradition learned something new about the other that night and most importantly, that we all really are one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The night brought new meaning to the phrase, the “Universal Catholic Church”.
On Sunday, April 27, his Excellency, Bishop Gregory, celebrated Maronite Divine Liturgy, concelebrated with Fr. Naji and Fr. Christopher, pastor of the Roman Catholic Parish of the Immaculate Conception. The Liturgy was followed by a brunch in the parish hall, where the parishioners not only celebrated the canonization of their patron, St. John Paul II, but also celebrated and honored the 10 year anniversary of the installment of his Excellency, Bishop Gregory.
It was a blessed weekend for this Mission to commemorate the canonization of their Patron, but also for the Catholic Church as a whole. May the prayers of our new Saints, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII be with each of us in our personal journey towards sanctity.
We extend a big thank you to Fr. Naji Kiwan for including the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light in the weekend’s festivities.