Perfect Love in Action

By Sister Therese Maria Touma, MSCL

If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you. In all truth I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:14-16)

During the Last Supper, Jesus held nothing back in giving of his very flesh and blood to nourish and unite his closest friends (and all of us) to Him in the gift of the Eucharist. On that sacred night where he also instituted the Sacrament/Mystery of the Priesthood, he also taught us one of the most life-forming lessons as he (who is our Lord and God) got down on his knees and washed the feet of his apostles to model to them what true humility and perfect love looks like in action.  It pours itself out for the good of the other…

As I reflect on this powerful scene of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, his simple yet profound actions portray that there no boundaries when it comes to stooping down to love and serve us, his beloved sons and daughters. There is nothing too ugly that Jesus cannot touch and heal within me and in the hearts of all those I serve. The Crucifix is the ultimate reminder of this total self-giving love. Jesus’ hands are extended wide open as they are nailed to the cross for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.

We are instructed by Jesus to live in this perfect love and give of our self without holding anything back. What a beautiful and challenging invitation this is for us in living out our daily discipleship. To die to our selfishness, and to go out of our comfort zones to receive and share Jesus’ healing love and light with our wounded brothers and sisters. To paraphrase the great Saint John Paul II, it is giving our self away in selfless love that we truly find our self and experience deep fulfillment and purpose in life.

Thank you Lord Jesus for drawing close to me in my messiness. Come and heal what needs to be restored in my life and relationships. Jesus, you are my Divine Physician, come and wash away my sins and fill me with the newness of life. I surrender to you my brokenness, limitations and sins.  May my weaknesses be a way of drawing closer to you, you who are infinite mercy and perfect love. Grant me the grace to share this healing love I have received with all those I encounter and serve. Amen.  


First Profession of Vows - Sister Natalie Sayde

On the March 19, the feast of Saint Joseph, Sister Natalie Sayde Salameh joyfully made her First Profession of Vows as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light at Saint Anthony of the Desert Church in Fall River MA. What a festive and uplifiting celebration for all in attendance, family and friends coming from near and far! Sister’s parents Joe and Wendy, and her two brothers Peter & Malcom came from Sydney Australia to witness this beautiful milestone of Sr. Natalie Sayde laying down her life and consecrating herself to God as a Maronite Servant in the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty.

His Excellency Bishop Gregory Mansour was the principle celebrant of the Divine Liturgy with nearly twenty priests, deacons and subdeacons concelebrating from the various Maronite and local Roman Catholic parishes. We were also blessed to have other communities of religious (the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the Missionaries of Charity, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation) join us for the Profession Liturgy and reception, which immediately followed the Liturgy.

We give thanks to God for Sister Natalies Sayde’s vocation and consecration. Thank you for all your support, prayers, love and best wishes. Please continue to join us in praying for more vocations to our Maronite Servant community. Share our website with other women who may be open to considering a vocation www.maroniteservants.org.


During the weekend of April 6-8 we will be hosting a Discernment Retreat for women. If you are interested in joining us for a weekend of prayer and reflection or now of anyone between the ages of 18-35 who would be please share our contact details with them….


Mission at St. Ann’s– Watervliet, NY

By Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL

On the Weekend of March 9 – 11, 2018, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light facilitated a parish-wide mission at St. Ann’s Maronite Catholic Church in Watervliet, New York.  At the invitation of  Fr. Alaa Issa, administrator,  the theme of the weekend’s retreat was “Give and Forgive”, focusing especially on the loving embrace of the merciful Father who is always waiting to welcome us home back into His compassionate heart.

On Saturday, March 10, Mother Marla Marie facilitated a morning of recollection with the ladies of the parish, who appreciated the silence and space they needed to allow God to speak more intimately to their hearts.

Sr. Therese Maria and Sr. Natalie Sayde spent Saturday morning with the children of the parish, with a number of the teens helping us facilitate a morning of catechesis, prayer, fun, games, crafts, and activities. In the afternoon, Sr. Therese Maria led a beautiful hour of adoration where all the teens present experienced Jesus in the Mystery of Penance and praying before the Holy Mysteries.
Following Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, the sisters had a chance to meet and mingle with the parishioners at a special pancake breakfast and coffee hour. Sr. Therese Maria met again with the teens of the parish and facilitated a Q & A  on those issues that were affecting the teens the most.

On Sunday afternoon, the sisters accompanied Fr. Alaa on a number of home visits to the sick and homebound of the parish.

We thank God for the opportunity to spend a beautiful weekend with the parish family of St. Ann’s. We thank Fr. Alaa and his beautiful parish for their warm welcome and hospitality and for all those who opened their hearts and homes to us.         


Passion Week in the Maronite Tradition

(Excerpts taken from ‘Captivated by Your Teachings’ by Rev Anthony J. Salim, this book can be ordered on Amazon)
Passion week (or Holy Week as it is known in the West) is fast approaching and begins with Hosanna Sunday on March 25.

"As joyful as Hosanna Sunday is, the days of Passion Week are more important. The first three days of Passion Week are marked by the celebration of the Service of “Coming to the Harbor” (Monday and Tuesday), and the “Service of the Rite of the Lamp” (Wednesday).
The Our Father in Syriac Aramaic.
The three principal days of Passion Week are: Thursday of the Mysteries, Great Friday of the Crucifixion, and Great Saturday of the Light.
On Thursday of Mysteries, the whole Church commemorates the Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Lord’s Supper with the Apostles. In focusing on the ritual of the Washing of the Feet, the Maronite Church emphasizes clearly the legacy of love and service that is at the heart of the meaning of the Eucharist, as well as the sacrifice of love on Calvary, with its forgiveness of sins, sacramentally re-enacted in each celebration of the Divine Service.
On Great Friday, the first of the two main services is the Anaphora of the Signing of the Chalice. This is one of the most ancient liturgies of the entire Church, and some form of it is prayed by all the Churches , East and West. The focus is on redeeming Blood of Christ, and His Body is broken for us.
The second service of the day is a Service of the Word: the ritual of the Burial of the Lord. Literal to the Gospel story of the Passion and dramatic, it invites us to be buried with the Lord, to be forgiven and rise with him.

On Great Saturday of the Light, the Divine Liturgy is not permitted during the day. It is a quiet day that invites us to end our Lenten Fast in a spirit of anticipation for the Grandest Feast, the Resurrection. The “Service of Forgiveness” is prayed near noontime. In this communal penance service, we are reminded that we are to be buried with Christ if we are to rise with him.