We attended the Eastern Catholic Churches Encounter 2012 last weekend October 11-14 at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The theme of the conference was “Together In Christ”. Clergy and the laity from the Armenian, Chaldean, Malankar, Malabar, Maronite, Melkite, Romanian, Russian, Ruthenian, Syriac and Ukrainian Churches were invited to attend and approximately 80 priest and 200 lay people were present.
Dynamic speakers included Bishop Nicholas Samra (Melkite Bishop of the U.S.), Fr. Damien Geiger (Melkite pastor, Florida), Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci (Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire), Maureen Daddona, PH.D and Sr. Marla Marie, who spoke on the Blue print for Church Growth. Sister Marla Marie emphasized the importance of deepening our prayer life and personal desire for holiness, in order to become effective witnesses of Jesus Christ especially in this Year of Faith.
His Excellency Bishop Gregory Mansour also attended the conference and beautifully led Safro (morning prayer) for the clergy and lay faithful. We also befriended a group of vibrant and active Melkite young adults pictured in the photo collage. It was a successful event and a great opportunity for us to deepen our ties with one another, witness to the beauty of our faith traditions and come together as one body in Christ.