Our Mission at St. John the Beloved - Mount Druitt, Sydney

 By Natalie Salameh
During our eventful two weeks in Sydney, Australia, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light facilitated a children’s retreat and two young adult discussion nights at the Maronite parish of St. John the Beloved in Mount Druitt, Sydney.

The first of our discussion nights on Wednesday, February 11, was delivered to the young adults of the parish who make up the Marian Apostolic Movement (MAM). Mother Marla Marie led the night’s discussion on “Catholic, but why Maronite?” As we went around the room, we gauged each individual’s view on what it means to be Maronite in the universal Catholic Church. Mother Marla Marie then shared on Maronite spirituality.

The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light conducted a Lenten retreat for the children of the parish on Saturday, February 21, on Christ’s saving love for us as exemplified in His passion, death and resurrection.   After various fun activities and ice-breakers led by Sr. Therese Maria, the children were asked, “who is the best gift given to us?” Then in a beautiful gift package, which one child enthusiastically opened, was a crucifix. The children were challenged to consider the sacrifice of Christ for all of us on the Cross, and how they follow Jesus in their resolutions for Great Lent.  
After watching an animation of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, the children came up with their own Lenten sacrifices, and decorated crosses as a reminder of Christ’s great love for them.  At the end of the day, we prayed a Living Stations of the Cross, which were acted out by the older children.

On Sunday, February 22, following Divine Liturgy, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light facilitated a discussion on discernment with young women of the parish. This generated good questions on spirituality and clarified areas of confusion.