Our Lady of Fatima – Pleasantville, NJ

by Sr. Natalie Sayde

During the weekend of September 15 – 17, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light were on mission at Our Lady Star of the East parish in Pleasantville, NJ. We were invited by Pastor, Fr. Kamil El-Choufeiti, to give a parish-wide retreat on the message of Our Lady of Fatima in this Centennial Year.

Our retreat began on Saturday morning with the children of the parish from 10AM to 1PM. The morning included a variety of catechesis, games, relays, crafts and activities as the sisters explained the Fatima message, and encouraged the children to pray the rosary daily.

We were then able to visit some of the sick and homebound of the parish before facilitating a retreat for the MYO of the parish from 3.30PM to 6.30PM. The MYO served in the Divine Liturgy at 6.30PM, at which time Mother Marla Marie gave a witness and presentation on vocations and our Maronite Servants mission. Mother Marla Marie also spoke on the same topic at Sunday morning’s Divine Liturgy.

In the evening from 7.30PM to 10.30PM, we delivered a  presentation on the Fatima message to the MYA of the parish, which included a recreational evening with an outing for ice cream.

On Sunday morning following Divine Liturgy and the coffee hour, we presented on the Living Fatima message to the ladies of the parish. This presentation was bi-lingual in English with Sr. Natalie Sayde translating in Arabic. The message of Our Lady of Fatima touched them deeply and made the recitation of the Living Rosary more meaningful.  The ladies, each in turn, entrusted their burdens to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend with the parish family of Our Lady Star of the East. We thank Abouna Kamil and the parishioners for their warm welcome, hospitality and support of our mission.