Dear brothers and sisters, members and friends of the Holy Family,
The New Year celebration focuses our attention to the concept of time, history, past, present and future. We think about age, childhood, teens, youth, young adulthood, adulthood, senior and elder ages. It reminds us that we are getting one step older, and wait for the surprises of the future and keep hoping that the Lord keeps us safe and healthy.
The New Year reminds us that Jesus is the center of History and Universe. He is the reference center. History with Jesus became BC and AD, where BC is before Christ and AD is Anno Domini (The Year of the Lord). The question of time and age flashes in our mind when thinking about a lost year. Losing a beloved member of the family, makes us think about the reality of life. We remember our departed and beloved ones, in masses and liturgies celebrated on weekends and weekdays, as our Lord Jesus said: who eats my Body and drinks my Blood will earn eternal life, and who believes in me and gets baptized will have eternal life. On the other side, when a new family member is born, he or she brings joy and happiness to the family. We ask Jesus in the New Year 2020 of His Nativity, to keep us in hope and faith to witness His Love and Grace, hoping that this year will be for His glory.
What was special about this year 2019? it was the 100th Anniversary Jubilee year for the Holy Family Maronite Catholic Church of Saint Paul, Minnesota. 100 years ago, in October 1918, the community ancestors founded their church on the rock of faith and determination to preserve faith, culture and heritage. This Jubilee year was concluded by a unique and spectacular event of the church group trip to Lebanon for 10 days. It was a huge group of 33 parishioners, considering the small size of the parish. They visited 3 kinds of itineraries: Religious and Saints sites, churches and shrines, touristic and historical sites and cities, and towns of origin of the participants. We thank everyone who participated in making this such a successful and memorable trip.
In 2019 we saw one of the most notable upgrades in the church building, decided by both councils, was the establishment of a more up-to-date Wi-Fi infrastructure system in the church building as a means to improve Wi-Fi capacity and Internet use, and security, the church security system with newer cameras and the capability to transmit live streaming of church celebrations on social media as well as church announcements and events. We thank all those who donated to the project costs and welcome any further donations.
The Holy Family Maronite Catholic Church is always known to be a place for faith, hope, charity and true love. As one family, the parish works to build these virtues in its members and witness the love and peace of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church declared the first day of the year to be consecrated to pray for the peace in the World. Let us pray in this day for the peace in the World, especially in the tormented countries throughout world especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East and in Lebanon where the last Christianity, stronghold in the Middle East is still surviving surrounded by an ocean of darkness and extremism and violence. May the Light of the Lord, shine upon this part of the World, and in all countries and nations. May the Lord Jesus keep the USA in peace and prosperity.
During January the church dedicates one week of prayer for church unity. Let us pray for the unity of the diverse and rich in traditions and spirituality church under one shepherd, the successor of Peter, His Holiness Pope Francis and his evangelized teachings and guidance. In the same time we pray for his beatitude Maronite Cardinal Bechara Peter, and to our bishop Elias and all the bishops of the true faith. May the Lord guide their steps.
I conclude this letter with a word of thanks to all those who worked so hard for all the Christmas 2019 events. the Faith Formation and MYO youth teachers, parents and participants, for the choir director and members for their precious gift they offered to the community in performing a wonderful Christmas play and concert on December 19 and Sunday December 22. We also thank the church decoration team, and the Christmas Santa Party team and supporters. You all made the community experience the love and joy of Christmas.
Father Emmanuel Nakhle-Ghorr, Pastor
Copyright (c) 2020 Holy Family Maronite Church, St Paul. (v2001.03)