By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh
The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light attended this year’s National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) Convention in Greenville, South Carolina from June 28th to July 2nd, 2017. We were blessed with the opportunity to meet and join with over 600 of our Maronite parishioners who attended from all over the US.
We had a table in the exhibit area where we were able to speak with many people one on one. This year the layout of our table was a little different. A devoted parishioner from our Maronite parish of St. Joseph’s in Atlanta, Cecilia Romero, had crocheted an assortment of baby items which she generously donated to the sisters as sale items on our table. This attracted a lot of attention, especially the dressed-up baby doll model.
This year’s Convention offered an outstanding array of activities for the Maronite Young Adults (MYA). The sisters, especially Sr. Therese Maria, were busy facilitating Theology on Tap, discussions and luncheons, two of which were with Bishops Gregory and Elias.
The workshops offered on each of the days were of the highest quality. We had Dr. William Rabil explain the medical aspects of our Lord’s crucifixion as depicted in the Shroud of Turin. Chorbishop Michael Thomas, Vicar General of the Eparchy of St. Maron, gave a beautiful presentation on the sacred dignity of the vocation of marriage. Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, gave a well-attended workshop on building a civilization of love in the Middle East. My personal favorite workshop was the one delivered by Mother Olga Yaqoob, Foundress of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, who highlighted so movingly the many great feats that Mary can accomplish in our lives when we simply place our trust in her maternal care.
We attended the evangelical concert of Lebanon’s Christian singer, Abeer Nehme, who moved the audience to tears by her strong faith, radiant joy and sweet angelic voice. Abeer was remarkable as she charmed the crowd with hymns sang in English, Arabic, Syriac and even Armenian.
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 Houston, Texas, God willing.