The Support of Family and Friends -Sydney, Australia

During our mission time in Sydney Australia, we were absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we received from our families, friends and parishioners.

Sr. Therese Maria Touma, Natalie Salameh and Petra Nakhoul (who will join the Maronite Servants in June) are Australian. All three families of these young women graciously and generously hosted four “friendraisers” for the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.  These “friend-raisers” were an opportunity for us to share our vocation stories and witness to the joy of consecrated life (fitting for this Year of Consecrated Life).  
The friend-raisers were a great way to raise awareness of our mission as Maronite Servants of Christ the Light and thereby generate a wider group of supporters.

Sr. Therese Maria’s sister, Alison Touma, hosted the first of our “friend-raisers” among her fellow housewives circle of friends. Mother Marla Marie spoke to them about their beautiful vocation of marriage and motherhood, especially how they can renew their essential role in the family and their marriage vows.

Natalie Salameh’s brother, Malcolm Salameh, hosted a “friend-raiser”, where we got to meet family and friends, including a local Roman Catholic priest from Our Lady Queen of Peace, Rev. Paul Monkerud.

The Nakhoul and Touma families both hosted “friend-raisers” where Mother Marla Marie spoke at both events on the foundation, establishment and mission of the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.

During Petra’s “friend-raiser”, she shared her personal faith journey into our community and mission. The night was accompanied by much laughter and fellowship, including Sr. Therese Maria and Natalie sharing a little religious-style stand-up comedy.

Similarly, during the Touma family “friend-raiser”, Sr. Therese Maria also shared her personal journey into religious life and gave a very beautiful witness about her experience as a consecrated religious working in the vineyard of the Lord as a spiritual mother to God’s people.

If you would like to host a similar event in support of the Maronite Servants, please contact them via phone or email.   


Highlights of Mission - Sydney Australia

By Natalie Salameh

The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light send their love and prayers from Downunder - Sydney Australia. We hope that your journey during this Holy Season of Great Lent will be one of spiritual renewal and steadfastness.
We are on mission, spreading the good news of the Gospel and the latest about our community to our Maronite parishioners. 
This week we'd like to share with you some of the highlights of our mission trip Downunder which has been very eventful.

On Ash Monday we were live on the air on the Voice of Charity radio station, on a program known as "The Good Fight". During the program we were able to share about the establishment and foundation of our community, our personal conversion and vocation stories, the Maronite Church in the US and its diversity, and details about our Maronite Catholic Tradition and how we practice it as consecrated religious. 

On Tuesday, Sr Therese Maria led a discussion night on battling temptation during this Holy Season of Great Lent. We were speaking to the all female youth group at St. Charbel's Church who are known as the "Handmaids". The discussion night certainly generated many questions, as the women were curious to know how we as religious practice ascetism and penance during Great Lent.

On Wednesday, we spoke to some of the youth at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral about the various vocations that God may be calling us to and the various tools we should utilise for discerning specifically a religious vocation. We also had a number of questions from the audience such as the differences between our Maronite Church in Australia vs the US, and what does it mean to be Maronite Catholic.

On Friday, back at St. Charbel's Church, which also owns and runs St. Charbel's School, we spoke to the seniors at the High School about the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light and particularly the gift of consecrated religious life to the Church. The students were very interested in learning about the run down of our everyday life as a Maronite Servant and what it entails, and about the various facets of our diverse ministry.

We hope to be back home next week. 
PS - we certainly missed you, but we did not miss the cold, blizzards and snow storms.


Vocation Reflection – My Journey to the Maronite Servants

Petra (right) and Natalie (left).  

By Petra Nakhoul
“All I have ever sought is the truth,” are the words of Saint Therese and the words of my own heart. This truth I have found in the gift of my faith. It hasn’t been easy but it has been my greatest joy. It was this particular joy that only came from knowing Christ from the foot of the Cross and standing by Our Holy Mother gazing at the very image of love incarnate. I knew that my life was to be only His. One question remained, “Lord, where do you wish for me to serve?” I prayed to be guided to the place He and His Mother wished for me to be.
As I sat in the library at university during the holidays, a good friend asked if I knew the Maronite Servants in America. She encouraged me to enquire about their way of life. I was hesitant though remained open to the suggestion. Some time later I decided to read up about the Maronite Servants of Christ The Light. I emailed Mother Marla. I must say it was possibly the quickest response I have ever received. We followed with a Skype session and an application to Come and See.
As I continued praying and asking the Holy Family to lead me, I sent an email to Sayedna  Antoine Charbel Tarabay of the Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand who responded with his blessing and reminded me to repeat the words of Samuel, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’  In the following weeks I was to quieten myself down in order to hear the voice of my Lord speaking. I was accepted to visit the convent of the Mother of Light in the U.S and only providence pursued in the following months in which I had the opportunity to spend 10 weeks over two visits in the winter and the summer of 2014. I saw the hand of the Lord in everything and also the blessing of the heart of the Mother that loves ever so mercifully.
I encountered the God I love and His Mother who guided and nurtured me through my life. I was free and filled with Peace. The truth was present and never changed. It was visible to all who wanted to come and see.
The Charism and Apostolic works of the Maronite Servants attracted me. I love my Maronite Church in its entirety and the opportunity to learn more and grow in its understanding gave new meaning to my life. A life I hope to live to the full through the joy of the Gospel with the Maronite Servants, eternally radiating the Light of Christ.
Now I gladly lay my life down before His Majesty in awe, aspiration and admiration. My hope as I approach the 1st of June, (the 7th year anniversary of the foundation of the Maronite Servants of Christ The Light) that I may be worthy to receive my Lord and give myself to Him totally consumed in the divine fire of His unfathomable love and mercy.


Maronite Servants' Open House

The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light will host an Open House on Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 2:00PM to 5:00PM in celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life.  In calling for this year, Pope Francis is counting on religious “to wake up the world” by their radical witness of Gospel living and Christ’s merciful compassion. The Sisters welcome guests to visit their convent in Dartmouth MA for a presentation on religious life and refreshments.  For more information or to RSVP for this event, please contact the Sisters at sister@maroniteservants.org or Ph.508/996-1753. 

“Religious life ought to promote growth in the church by way of attraction. The church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! . . . It is this witness that I expect of you. Religious should be men and women who are able to wake the world up.” —Pope Francis