MYA National Workshop 2019 – San Antonio, Texas

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

Sr. Therese Maria and myself returned this week from the National MYA Workshop, which was held in San Antonio, Texas from October 4-6, and gathered over 80 young adults from across the country. This year’s Workshop took place at an excellent retreat center, T Bar M, surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature. 

We were blessed with the presence of both Bishops, Bishop Gregory Mansour from the Eparchy of St. Maron and Bishop Elias Zaidan from the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, Los Angeles. 

The theme for this year’s Workshop was “Leading by Example” and all the speakers touched upon the importance of having a servant-leadership heart following the example of Christ. 

We were honored to have a guest speaker, Mr. Joe Farris, a vibrant and authentic national Catholic speaker, from Cincinnati, Ohio. Joe’s message was a powerful one of how he encountered Christ in his life, and how we can encounter Christ in our lives. 

By the end of Joe’s first talk in the morning, he had me in tears, and many of the young adults were moved by his powerful personal testimony; his radical love for Christ; and how he was able to faithfully proclaim that Christ had never failed him in his life.

With the presence of both bishops among us for the whole weekend, including a number of clergy, we experienced the wonderful power of prayer and grace in the Divine Liturgies celebrated, in Eucharistic adoration and prayer, and in confession.

On a personal note, I have been to many MYA Workshops, but this one was the very best that I have attended. I truly felt that Jesus was so powerfully present among us, and that the young adults were serious about encountering the Lord, and they did. They came with open hearts and Christ did not disappoint.

During our small group sessions, the young adults opened up beautifully about their worries, doubts, fears, restlessness and yearnings. I was deeply moved by this. 

I heard great feedback from a number of young adults who said that they greatly appreciated the new format of the Workshop, that is, of having it in a retreat setting rather than a hotel as in times past. They said they appreciated the down time and getting away from the constant busyness of their everyday lives to be with the Lord and with one another. Great friendships were established and strong bonds were forged. Praise God!

A big thankyou to Fr. Tony Massad, Sr. Therese Maria and the entire MYA Board for putting together this truly wonderful event.        


Fall News from the Sisters

CLICK HERE to read our Fall Newsletter and pass it on to your friends.  We are happy to share with you God's blessings in our mission.  


Our Postulant, Emily Lattouf

Emily Sharbela Lattouf  entered the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light on September 19th at the Convent Chapel of St. Maron.  At the end of the Ramsho prayer, Monsignor James Root gave a blessing to Emily and Mother Marla Marie presented her with a medal of Our Lady of Lebanon and a formal welcome into the community.  Emily enters religious life from St. Theresa Maronite Church in Brockton.
I am so happy to be starting my new life as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light postulant. Our greatest calling in any vocation is to love, as Saint Teresa of Calcutta says “the fruit of love is service.” It is with great joy and honor that I start this incredible journey of serving God through serving you.

Growing up in the United States I have seen a need for Maronite religious sisters. I have been attracted to this congregation for quit some time (around seven years). I have enjoyed going on spiritual retreats hosted by the sisters, and volunteering in their various ministries such the summer Bible camp, visiting the elderly, attending wedding and funeral services and much more. The sisters are involved in the lives of the parishioners and they accompany them in their journey of faith. We laugh, cry and grow with you and with one another. I look forward to serving you and living a life of prayer and service along side such wonderful sisters.”


Reflection on my Trip to the Holy Land

By Sr. Therese Maria, MSCL

The week of September 8th, I along with twenty others from diverse backgrounds were given the unique opportunity to visit the Holy Land on the Philos Catholic Tour. A gift that I am grateful for and will always treasure, especially the meaningful encounters, and interactions we had with the local residents and each other.

There are so many layers to unpack from this trip as we met with Christians, Jews, Muslims, government officials, Church leaders and journalists who are working on the local ground with the Philos Project to help promote dialogue, positive engagement and peace in the Middle East. One of the things I observed first hand was the pluralistic landscape of Israel and the intricate and complex situation, and dialogue that is occurring between Christians, Muslims, Jews, Palestinians and Israelis as they “strive” to peacefully co-exist.

In addition to visiting the holy sites of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Magdala to name a few, our focus for this trip was to learn more about the Christians and their role in the Middle East. Unfortunately, due to the lack of political stability, persecution, ongoing discrimination, and poor job opportunities thousands of Christians are leaving Israel and other places in the Middle East to seek security and stability. Today, Christians are a minority of less than 2% of the population in Israel, and after hearing from Christians in their own villages about their daily struggles, I have come to see even more why we need to materially and spiritually support Christian families. Their impact and presence in the Middle East is a much needed witness, especially in the areas of education and healthcare.

Each day, I found myself switching gears as a tourist visiting the holy sites to a pastoral/service mode in visiting various places such as the Saint Rachel’s center for undocumented refugee children. Also, being present in attentively listening to the difficulties of Christians who seek to be free, to be seen, to be healed, to be accepted and to have their human dignity and rights recognized and respected. In these vulnerable and raw moments, the group bonded, as various people expressed their heart-breaking stories. I assisted to translate from Arabic to English so that the group could better understand their narrative and enter into their plight. 

During the trip, I felt that I was truly living out my spiritual motherhood as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light, leading prayer, answering questions on the faith, and letting those sharing their stories know that they are being heard, seen and loved. Let us continue to intensify our prayers for peace in the Middle East and for our fellow brothers and sisters, and those whose voices need to be heard.

On a final note, it was such a blessing to take your prayer intentions with me as we remembered each of you and your loved ones in our Liturgies and prayer times. 


At the IDC Conference – Washington D.C.

The Maronite Servants participated in the 6thannual In Defense of Christians (IDC) Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 10-11.  IDC was founded in 2014 in response to the tidal wave of violence towards Christians in the Middle East. One of the main goals of IDC is to advocate for policies that preserve Christianity in its ancient homeland.

The IDC Leadership Conference commenced on the evening of September 10thwith the Solidarity Dinner featuring a number of congressmen, ambassadors, dignitaries and religious leaders, among them our own Bishop, His Excellency Gregory Mansour. We heard from Mr. Samuel Brownback, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Mr. Brownback encouraged all participants to keep up the fight for religious freedom, predominantly through constant prayer, as God is the source of all freedom and unity. 

Towards the close of the evening, we heard a moving and poignant testimonial by Mrs. Mona Rizk Rowan who shared her harrowing story of surviving the Damour Massacre in Lebanon 1976. 

The next day on September 11, the sisters joined Mr. Steven Howard from IDC and the Massachusetts constituents, among them were Mrs. Rowan and her family, to advocate for the Coptic Christians in Egypt and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.  We visited the offices of Congressmen William Keating, and Joseph Kennedy, as well as, the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren.  

These were two very grace-filled days for us, as we witnessed to the importance of religious freedom in the Middle East and provided a voice for the voiceless. We are grateful to the President of IDC, Mr. Toufic Baaklini and his dedicated Board of Directors for their ongoing efforts of fighting for equality, freedom and security for religious minorities in the Middle East. 


Ultimate BBQ Fundraiser a Success

On Saturday, September 7, the parish of St. Anthony of the Desert in Fall River hosted a BBQ fundraiser for the Maronite Servants in the Maronite Center.

With over 150 people in attendance from different Maronite and Roman Catholic parishes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the evening’s program was filled with gratitude for God’s blessings, a delicious BBQ buffet, and live entertainment.

We were blessed with the presence of both Maronite and Roman Catholic clergy, including the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, who were a great means of support for the Maronite Servants in beginning this foundation.
We are most grateful to Msgr. James Root, Pastor of St. Anthony of the Desert, and his devoted parishioners for graciously hosting this event.  This BBQ fundraiser could not have taken place without the help of many donors and benefactors, too many to be named here, who have overwhelmed us with their generosity in giving of their time, talents and treasures. We are most grateful to all who supported us. 


The Spirituality of St Isaac the Syrian (Isaac of Nineveh)

"A little endurance in the face of small matters will hold back danger when serious ones come." 
St Isaac the Syrian (Feast Day August 23rd, Maronite Calendar)

St Isaac sought to find and teach the way to God through a Christian life in which worship, the sacraments and prayer, transform and uplift the whole person: body, heart and soul. This saint truly exemplifies the Syrian emphasis on including the body in the process of sanctification, so that matter is not disdained, but is lifted to the divine. 
Although he was a religious solitary, writing for religious hermits, he was full of wisdom and common sense: e.g. the proverb above about the importance of watching the small steps which make up our journey. 
The Maronite Synaxarion notes that the feast of St Isaac the Syrian is celebrated, in our Church, on 23 August, and states: “Saint Isaac was born (about 613) in the region of Qatar, on the Persian Gulf. In his time, the seventh century, Qatar was an important Christian centre, and gave the Church a number of distinguished writers, many of whom were mystics. Isaac adopted the monastic life, but was chosen by Patriarch George I to be bishop of Nineveh (today Mosul), in Mesopotamia, in the year 676. But after five months was (somehow) obliged to resign his See, and removed to Khuzistan, in Jabal Mattuth, and then to the nearby monastery of Rabban Sabour.” It is not known when he died, but it was, perhaps, around 700. In some of the Orthodox Churches, his feast is celebrated on 28 January, with that of St Ephrem. 

Body, Heart and Mind 
“Every prayer over which the body (fagro) does not share the toil, and over which the heart (lebo) does not feel suffering, you should consider to be stillborn (yaHTo).” St Isaac means that if our prayer is purely intellectual, passing through the mind but making no impact on our feeling of ourselves and our hearts, it is without the possibility of progress in the spiritual life. That is why he describes it as being “still-born,” it had potential but that potential will not lead anywhere. St Isaac understood that the mind may see a need for change, and may direct it, but the power to change comes from the body and the heart. 
In another place, St Isaac observes that it is crucial to take a good reverent posture of the body when praying: a person’s posture tells us much about their state and their attitude. St Isaac advises us to stand, to raise one’s arms, or to even lie prostrate on the ground in order to prepare the body for prayer. It is not that God needs us to take humble and beseeching positions: rather, it is we who benefit from them. The point is to take a posture which is a sign of good intention and where we can best hold our attention: this is very difficult indeed when lying down on our backs, or hunched up. 
St Isaac here bases himself on two facts: the Incarnation of the Lord as a human being, and the fact that we are still in our bodies. The Lord did not despise the human body – neither should we. We are not disembodied spirits, and so we should not pretend that “prayer of the heart suffices by itself …” (Sebastian Brock, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life, 276). It is true that what is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the spirit is spirit, as the Lord said (John 3:6). St Isaac’s point is that the spirit can infuse the body, lift and transform it.

The Syriac Approach to the Divine 
It is no surprise to anyone acquainted with Syriac thought that St Isaac’s approach to God is typological, that is only the divine world is true and real; this world is an image of the divine. We can move towards God because He appears to us as an image, a “true icon of the world beyond” (yiqoneh šariro d.3olmo dal.hal) (see Mary Hansbury, Isaac the Syrian’s Spiritual Works, 8), and prayer is the best way of bringing the mind to “fellowship” (neštawtaf, from the same root as the word for Eucharistic Communion). 
A premium is placed on work, stillness and meditation. There is no contradiction here, for if one can work with interior stillness, there is pure action, and we can then be busy in the world while maintaining purity of intention. The word used for “meditation” is often renyo, “thinking, paying attention”, a thought which is a quiet gazing upon pure reality, without illusion. Another word for meditation is hergo (to let the mind dwell on God’s plan for salvation, from the creation through to the Second Coming). 
The cleansing of our thought and our seeing begins, says St Isaac, with a sense of wonder, tehro, in Syriac. What is wonder? In the Syriac tradition, it is not just seeing something as if for the first time, and with an emotion of surprise, it is also the emotion of joy or ecstasy which comes with that sight. In the solitary tradition, wonder is the divine energy which transforms our sight of the world and allows us to see that the miraculous is the real. Wonder takes us to the mystery behind the universe, and to the divine essence, and by lifting our spirits even improves our ordinary lives (Hansbury, 14-16). 
By conforming our earthly life to the divine, we use the higher as a pattern for the lower; and so the body changes from being a servant of carnal and material intention to becoming a vessel of the divine. St Isaac writes: “By stillness of the body and ceasing from this world, solitaries imagine the true stillness and the withdrawal from nature which will occur at the end of the corporeal world. By means of the mind, they are united with the world of the spirit. By means of meditation they are involved in the expanse above. Thus, symbolically, they remain continually in the future reality” (Hansbury, 18-20). 
There is an issue with Hansbury’s translation here: the word which she has rendered as “symbolically” is no such thing – it is dab.Tuf.so, meaning “according to the type”, or “the archetype”. What St Isaac is saying is that when we begin to see with the eyes of the heart that the earth is modelled on the archetype of heaven, then by looking to that eternal reality we share in it.
But for the world to more truly reflect the divine model on which it has been created, we must cleanse it of what is evil and build up what is good: this is our labour, our work. 
External order is therefore central to the holy life, since: “For thoughts to be at peace, it is necessary to show great care also for exterior things … neglect (and) disorderliness of the body can stir up very vicious struggles” (Hansbury, 26). In keeping with the understanding of the significance of the Incarnation of the divine in the human, the lower must be put in order so that it can receive the divine. The human must be respected on its level, and not for its own sake, but for that of God who made and makes use of us and our bodies. 
When St Isaac speaks of disciplining and mortifying the body, as he so often does, he does not mean to do so with some stern attitude of punishing the body for being flesh. He means, of course, not to identify with the body, not to worship it. For example, physical health is good, it is a great advantage to be physically healthy when seeking spiritual, intellectual and emotional health: then, when they have been achieved, at least to some degree, one can withstand illness, even severe suffering, because one is now balanced in a higher state. If I seek physical health for the sake of my spiritual health, and never confuse one for the other, I shall walk safely. But if I start to pride myself on my appearance, my clear skin, or my physique, I am bowing before an idol. 

One last thought from St Isaac: Love is sweeter than life; but even sweeter than honey and a honeycomb is an insight concerning God out of which love is born. 
This was written by a Maronite priest. Of your mercy, please pray for those souls in Purgatory who have no one else to pray for them, and also pray for that priest.


Sister, you don’t know how to pray!
Prayer and the Holy Spirit 

A Reflection by Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

As many would now be aware, we, the Maronite Servants, have a new Postulant joining us next month, on September 19. Praise God!  The young lady’s name is Emily Lattouf, from St. Theresa’s Church in Brockton, MA. Emily’s family came to visit the sisters here at our Convent in Dartmouth recently. 

Emily has a four old little sister, whose name is Angelina. She is quite the character! During the course of our conversation, I discovered that little Angie prays a decade of the Chaplet of the Sacred Heart every day. I was intrigued, and I asked her to teach me how to pray the Chaplet. I took out my Rosary so that she could tell me what prayers are said on which beads. Well, we fumbled our way through, and Angie was giving me a lot of repetition, so I finally said, “Ok, so after the Our Father and the Hail Mary, what comes next?” She replied, “You do not know how to pray!” Well, I laughed so hard and so did everybody else. I responded to Angie by saying, “You are absolutely right, I do not know how to pray”. Kids say the darndest (and yet most truthful) things, right?

Angie’s response had reminded me of what St. Paul said in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 8, verse 26:

        In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
Angie’s response had reminded me that it’s not me who prays, but the Holy Spirit who prays in me. Her response prompted me afresh to implore the Holy Spirit to “teach me to pray, to pray in me”. 

In a couple of short weeks in the Maronite Church, the Season of Pentecost, often known as the Season of the Holy Spirit, will come to an end. In fact, the Season of Pentecost ends with the beginning of the next (and final) Liturgical Season of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14.

The Season of Pentecost is the longest season in the Maronite Church, sometimes lasting as long as three to four months, depending on where Easter falls in the year. After about the 4thor 5thSunday of Pentecost, the repetition of the same Liturgies and prayers can become somewhat tedious and monotonous. 

Angie reminded me through her candor and simplicity, that only a pure child possesses, that we are still in this powerful Season of the Holy Spirit. Let’s finish this Season strong. Let us implore the Holy Spirit to come and help us, and teach us weak human beings how to praise God, and how to love God as He desires to be loved. Only the presence of the Holy Spirit in us can do that!


Assumption Pilgrimage 2019 - Ohio

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

We enjoyed several days of prayer and visiting with friends at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, North Jackson, Ohio in celebration of the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.
The pilgrimage began on Tuesday, August 13, with a Divine Liturgy of the Roman Rite followed by a candlelit procession and blessing with the Icon of Our Lady of Lebanon.

The Maronite Servants had a table in the Cedars Hall where we were able to speak with many people one on one, and see many new (and not so new) faces. It was great to catch up with the people that visit the shrine each year for these solemn days of triduum in honor of Our Lady’s Dormition.  

On both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Sr. Therese Maria and Rosa Calabria spent time in prayer, adoration and fellowship with the MYO, and with their Excellencies, Bishop Elias Zaidan and Bishop Gregory Mansour also in attendance. 

On Wednesday evening, August 14, we were blessed to celebrate a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, offered by His Excellency, Archbishop William C. Skurla, of the Metropolitan Archeparchy
of Pittsburgh, PA. Following Divine Liturgy, the Byzantine Tradition has a very beautiful ritual of burying the Mother of God on the vigil of her Dormition, a ritual they call the “Funeral of the Theotokos, the Ever-Virgin Mary”. We processed behind the tomb and shroud of the Virgin Mary, which was later placed in the chapel for all to venerate.

On the day of the Feast of the Assumption, Thursday August 15, we had the great privilege of celebrating two Divine Liturgies. The first at noon, known as the “Healing Mass”, where all the faithful afflicted in mind, body or soul are given the option to be anointed by the Bishops or priests with blessed oil. In the evening, we celebrated the Maronite Pontifical Liturgy outside beside the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon. The Liturgy was followed by a huge candlelit procession around the entire shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, with a great number in attendance. The procession concluded with a beautiful display of fireworks above the shrine, and festivities in the Cedars Hall.

We remembered you in our prayers during these holy days of pilgrimage at the Shrine. Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.


Light of Life Bible Camp

Please take a few minutes to watch highlights from our annual summer vacation Light of Life Bible Camp at St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Church, Fall River. Enjoy!


B.U.S.Y., But Doing What?



BBQ Fundraiser

Also, free entertainment and a raffle. 

Help us spread the word by re-posting this flyer.  
Please come and support our fundraiser!
Encourage your friends to buy a ticket and attend.  


Annual NAM Convention 2019 – Miami, Florida

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

We attended the National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) Convention in Miami, Florida from June 26th to June 30th, 2019 and were blessed to be with over 1,000 of our Maronites who attended from across the US. We had an evangelization table in the exhibitors area which gave us the opportunity to share the faith and meet with many of the people.  

Some highlights: we attended a Theology on Tap, hosted by Fr. Tony Massad and Sister Therese Maria. An outdoor venue was also booked where the young adults had a BBQ and a vocation panel. 
We also attended the Bishops’ Panel Commission on the affairs of Lebanon in its current political and economic state, we listened to the many concerns and issues currently affecting Lebanon. The evangelical concert of Lebanon’s Christian singer, Carla Ramia, who moved the audience to tears by her strong faith, radiant joy and sweet angelic voice.

Bishops Elias and Gregory also made themselves available for all the conventioneers in a Q&A discussion, where they could be asked on any matter of faith. The Bishops were very engaging, and at times quite humorous, as they also fielded personal questions relating to their lives as Bishops.    
In addition to the activities, the sisters enjoyed praying with the clergy and the faithful every morning and evening, and each day’s Divine Liturgy, with included a unique message from each of the Bishops. 

May God bless the efforts and work of all those involved in this year’s Convention. It was a great success. We look forward to attending next year in Cincinnati, Ohio, God willing.  


Light of Life (LoL) Summer Bible Day - Boston, MA

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

The LOL Club (Light of Life) summer bible camp was offered on June 22nd, at Our Lady of the Cedars Church in Jamaica Plain,with a day of learning about St. Joseph in engaging videos, crafts, bible sharing, games, prayer, choir practice, and lots of food. 

Our theme, “In the Footsteps of St. Joseph”, was the day’s catechesis focused on St. Joseph’s deep trust in God, and how we see him exercise that trust in the Gospels.

Our Lady of the Cedars is blessed to have a shrine to St. Joseph within the Church. Our day with the children concluded by offering our special prayers and intentions to St. Joseph at his shrine. 

We would like to thank Pastor, Msgr. Georges El-Khalli, and all the dedicated volunteers for assisting us and helping with this day. 


Summer Newsletter

Please take a few minutes to read over our Summer Newsletter and let us know what you think? We appreciate your friendship and feedback.


Formation Studies at Magdala Apostolate

Among the many things that our sisters here at the Maronite Servants have been involved in, We wanted to let you know about one in particular, the Magdala Apostolate. You may not have heard of the Magdala Apostolate or realized the need that it addresses, but it is certainly a gift from God.
The Magdala Apostolate was founded in 2014 by the Institute of Catholic Culture (check them out online at www.instituteofcatholicculture.org) to offer sound doctrinal formation, both initial and ongoing, for women religious and novices in accord with the Church’s call for a new evangelization and at no charge to the sisters or communities they serve. 
While we are very dedicated to our community’s mission and life of prayer, intellectual formation for the sisters is not always easy to provide. Through the Magdala Apostolate, our sisters have access to the highest-level scholars who are faithful to the magisterium of the Church. We are able to take classes in theology, philosophy, history, scripture, catechetics, and spirituality through a webinar format that allows our sisters to stay dedicated to our mission and remain in our convent. 
Even though the Magdala Apostolate is offered to our sisters for free, there is a significant cost in providing this education. The Magdala Apostolate relies upon the charity of generous benefactors to continue their mission. We highly recommend the Magdala Apostolate for consideration in your charitable support. For more information, please visit www.magdalaapostolate.org. Please pray for our sisters are we continue to learn more about our Savior.


Come, Holy Spirit!

A reflection by Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

The sisters were recently at a gathering of Maronite young adults and a discussion arose about the Holy Spirit. One young man very honestly said, “I don’t know the Holy Spirit. How do I meet the Holy Spirit?” I was touched by his candor and genuine thirst to know the Holy Spirit, the often forgotten Third Person of the Holy Trinity. 

This Sunday, June 9, the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost and we celebrate the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon Mary, and the disciples and apostles gathered in the upper room fifty days after the Resurrection. With the coming down of the Holy Spirit, we see once timid and fearful men set ablaze with the power of God and emboldened to proclaim the Gospel message and witness to all nations. What a perfect Feast for us to meet and get to know the Holy Spirit!

What is often not remembered is that the Holy Spirit is really, truly and personally present in our souls, by virtue of our Baptism. When we were Chrismated/Confirmed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit and received in all fullness His seven Gifts – wisdom, understanding, knowledge, piety, fortitude, fear of the Lord and counsel. We have the fullness of God’s Spirit dwelling within us, so how is it that we don’t know Him?  Why is He not making Himself known to us? The simple answer is the Holy Spirit is not to blame, our sins are the real culprit. Sin seriously weakens and diminishes the action of the Holy Spirit within our souls and darkens our intellects. We can go to the Mystery of Penance and with a good confession turn our gaze back to God. 

So how do we get to know the Holy Spirit? Like we do with any new friend we make. We spend time with the person, talking to them, getting to know all about them. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit. We have to offer Him our daily prayers and open our hearts to him as candidly as we do with our friends. This is not a magic formula, it’s a relationship of love with Him who loves us best. Also, trying to live a morally good life is really the way to animate the Holy Spirit within us. The more we try to wipe out sin in our lives, this  will deepen our conversion and our response to the Holy Spirits’ inspiration.  

So let’s be bold this Sunday on the Feast of Pentecost and ask Him to descend upon us afresh with all His awesome Gifts and set us on fire with His great love! If you don’t know the Holy Spirit, then use this beautiful Feast to ask Him to give you the grace to really encounter Him in your life. He is longing for you to ask!

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love! Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth!   


“I Make All Things New”

by Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

We laugh as we see a baby tickled,
watching it twist, move and giggle.

Children bring us so much joy,
just watching them play with their favorite toy.

We beam with delight at the laugh of a baby,
we cradle a baby girl and call her ‘little lady’.

We welcome a bundle of joy born anew,
but somewhere in this world something has gone askew.

Now a baby has to fight for its life in the womb,
what should be the safest place has become a potential tomb.

What of the awesome mystery do we not understand?
10 fingers and toes, a beating heart, two legs on which to stand.

Thousands clapped in New York over a wicked right to kill,
an innocent, unborn child! Who would that thrill?

What have we come to? A sad day has come to pass,
when a mother can abort her baby and discard it like a piece of glass.

Will she know that a part of her will never be the same after that day,
she will always wonder how the baby would look and what it would say.

Will she know that she will regret the decision for the rest of her life,
and be torn from within by guilt, shame and strife.

But will she also know that she need not carry the burden of her guilt alone, 
That there is Someone there for her who hears her cries and groans.

He comes to restore her in His image and likeness,
to show her mercy and remove her darkness.

He longs to draw her close and tell her, ‘I love you’,
‘I do not condemn you, I know what you are going through’.

‘My love will heal your pain and your empty womb’,
‘I will bring you new life and lift you from your gloom’.

‘I took the burden of your pain and nailed it to the Cross’,
‘I saw you from Golgotha and felt the pain of your loss’.

‘Death has no victory now, and no longer a sting’,
‘My death has conquered all, including all your sins’.

‘Break your silence now, dear mother, and do not be afraid’,
‘In My love, all will be new, all will be remade’.

For those seeking help after an abortion, please refer to these resources:
Project Rachel – www.hopeafterabortion.org
Rachel’s Vineyard – www.rachelsvineyard.org
Hope Alive – www.messengers2.com
Ramah International – www.ramahinternational.org
Healing Hearts – www.web-light.com/heart
P.A.C.E (Post Abortion Counseling and Education) – 800/395-HELP 


Massachusetts Senate Bill 1209 – An Attack on Women and Life

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

On Wednesday evening, May 15, I attended a meeting in Fall River on Massachusetts Senate Bill 1209 facilitated by the Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) where a  number of representatives from several Christian denominations were present.

This bill #1209 is currently being proposed in the Massachusetts State Legislature and it has serious, dangerous consequences for the protection of women and the protection of life. This Bill is similar to its New York counterpart that was approved by Gov. Cuomo earlier this year.

The proposed legislation in Massachusetts would produce the following perilous consequences:

  • Allow abortion in Massachusetts during all nine months of pregnancy.
  • Eliminate any requirement that even late-term abortions be performed in hospitals. As a result, a woman’s health would be less protected than the law’s commitment to promoting abortion at any time, for any reason.
  • Eliminate the requirement to make efforts to care for a child who survives an attempted abortion. Senate Bill 1209 strikes out all requirements that doctors provide life-saving treatment to born infants resulting from an attempted abortion. 
  • Eliminate any requirement that a pregnant minor (under 18) have any adult consent before undergoing an abortion. This leaves our children, maybe some as young as 12 or 13 years old, prey to sexual predators and sex trafficking.
The proposed provisions of this Bill are extreme and a violent attack on women and the right to life of all unborn (and born) babies in Massachusetts. This Bill is promoting nothing short of infanticide.

Please join the Sisters in signing a petition against this Bill: 

Also, please call or visit your local representative in Massachusetts to voice your concern about Senate Bill 1209. 

The proposed Bill will be formally heard by the Senate Committee on Public Health sometime in June. If you wish to publicly testify against this Bill at the Senate Committee hearing in June, the MCFL welcome you to join them in this effort. 

Let us unite in prayer for unborn children, all women and families faced with excruciatingly difficult pregnancies, and let us pray for our legislators and elected officials that they may see the dangerous consequences of this proposed Bill.