Young Adult Bible Sharing at Mother of Light Convent

By Natalie Salameh
On Wednesday evening, August 26, the first Young Adult Bible Sharing Group met at the Mother of Light Convent.  This is a new initiative among the young adults in the Eparchy of St. Maron, and was formed at the request of the young adults who recently attended the International Convocation of Maronite Youth in Bkerke, Lebanon with our Patriarch, His Eminence and Beatitude, Cardinal Bishara Peter Rai.
In meeting our Patriarch and visiting the various shrines of our Maronite Saints, the young adults returned from Lebanon with a great desire to delve deeper into their faith, and approached the Maronite Servants for a way to quench their thirst.  What better way is there of getting to know Our Lord Jesus Christ more deeply then by opening the Scriptures?
Sr. Therese Maria facilitated a lectio divina (sacred reading) for the young adults on the Sunday Gospel in the Maronite Church, the Pardoning of the Sinful Woman (Lk 7: 36 – 50).  Prior to the lectio divina, Sr. Therese Maria pointed out that prayer is when we speak to God, but reading the Word is when he speaks to us, but it requires something that makes many people uncomfortable – silence.   Sr. Therese Maria encouraged the young adults not to be afraid of silence, and to step away a little from the noise of the world, which drowns the subtle and quiet voice of the Lord.
It was obvious from the sharing of the young adults that the Holy Spirit was at work.  A number of them shared about how the Word was challenging them to change in certain areas of their life, and how many of them were deeply touched by the sinful woman’s great act of love in bathing Our Lord’s feet with her tears of repentance.  The evening concluded on a social note with refreshments and fellowship.

The next event to take place among the young adults is a social afternoon of hiking at the Blue Hills Reservation in Boston on September 12. For further details please contact Sr. Therese Maria at 508/996-1753 or srtherese2010@gmail.com or “like” us on Facebook (Maronite Servants of Christ the Light) to see all the latest activities on offer.  We, the Maronite Servants, extend our invitation to all young adults to join us in the social and spiritual activities for young adults. Please join us in keeping this initiative and the young adults close in prayer.


Ordination to Diaconate

On Sunday, August 16, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light attended the ordination of Alexander Harb to the Order of the Diaconate by His Excellency, Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. The ordination took place at the Church of Our Lady of the Cedars of Mount Lebanon in Fairlawn, Ohio.
In attendance and concelebrating with Bishop Zaidan was the Pastor of Our Lady of the Cedars, Msgr. William Bonczewski, recently ordained Rev. Christopher Fabre, and a number of other clergy.  Following Divine Liturgy, we attended a thanksgiving luncheon.

Deacon Alex will serve as a transitional deacon in the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon before being ordained as a priest sometime next year. May God grant Deacon Alexander the grace and fortitude to continue to faithfully carry out his mission. He has our continued prayers on his journey towards the sacred priesthood.

Assumption Pilgrimage Reflection - Ohio

By Monica Kassab
On August 13-15 I joined the Maronite Servants for a road trip to the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon for the Annual Assumption Pilgrimage.  On this feast of our Blessed Mother, I felt the closeness of my Maronite family and gained a deeper understanding of the centrality of the family to our faith.
Each day we gathered in the richly decorated basilica for a Liturgy in a different rite.  Low, gonging bells and faster, clanging bells mingled in a beautiful announcement of the start of the Liturgy.  Then 20 Knights of Columbus, with their feathered hats, capes and swords, lined the aisle for the procession.  It was a grand tribute to our Queen!
After the Liturgy we carried candles in a procession behind a statue of Our Lady and sang hymns under the dusk sky.  At night, Father Gary led an engaging youth program that helped us to get to know Our Blessed Mother better.
Throughout the pilgrimage, I was happy to receive many blessings and hugs from our warmhearted bishops and priests, meet my Maronite brothers and sisters from all over the country, and enjoy the hospitality of the Antonine Sisters who live next door.  I also attended two thought-provoking talks by John Horvat II, “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother” and “Mary Calls Us to a Way-of-the-Cross Society.” 
The Maronite Servants set up a table in the dining hall to greet the pilgrims.  I had the chance to get to know the sisters better, and they taught me to say “abouna” and “seyedna,” my first two Arabic words!  On the last day of the pilgrimage we attended the Maronite Liturgy outdoors and saw a rainbow above the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon. 

It was a pleasure to be able to join the Maronite Servants on this pilgrimage and meet my Maronite family.
(Monica is discerning with our community.)

Monica Kassab is the first on the right.  We are with the
Christ the Bridegroom community from Burton Ohio.


Light of Life (LOL) – Maronite Bible Camp 2015

By Natalie Salameh
LOL Club Maronite summer camp concluded August 7th with Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Mother of Light Convent by Chorbishop Joseph Kaddo of St. Anthony of the Desert Parish, Fall Rive, attended by LOL members, volunteers, and parents. 

The LOL Club began on August 3 with a week of learning about God’s love in engaging DVD's, crafts, bible sharing, games, prayer, choir practice, and snacks. This year’s program was written and facilitated by Sr. Therese Maria, with a “Son Surf” beach theme. We had lots of fun in the sun!  
Each day’s spiritual program and catechesis presented a different theme: loving our family, obedience; overcoming our fears; fighting temptation; and the beauty of forgiveness.

After the closing Liturgy, all those in attendance enjoyed a pizza lunch, mini-golf and bumper boats at Caddy Shack. The children enjoyed our time together, and it was great to hear that affirmed by the parents who mentioned to us that their kids were “having so much fun”.