Dear brothers and sisters, members and friends of the Holy Family,
After a nice summer break, when many of you were on vacation out of town, at the cabin, fishing, at family gatherings, enjoying bonfires or visiting family or relatives, either in the States, or the homeland of many of you, Lebanon, with all it symbolizes as the land of the cedars, a land of six thousand years of history, the biblical land, the land visited and honored by the Lord Jesus’ visits and preaching, the land where the first Christianity started to expand all over the World, we come again together to our community life despite all threats and diseases, in a steady, careful and safe way.
We are glad to come back together again to continue our walk in the dynamic mission of the church of evangelization and preserving heritage. Evangelization is not only being sent to an unknown land preaching the Gospel and feeding the poor. Evangelization can be practiced here in your house, within your family and within your church and community. How? It can be by your participation in church activities, inviting a relative or friend to join and volunteer in special events and activities during the years. The most important event of the Holy Family year program and agenda is the Holy Family Fall Festival. This year unfortunately and with much regret, the Fall Festival will not be able to occur as it normally did. However, due to the determination of the organizing committee, the festival will occur over 2 days, in the form of a drive-through takeout dinner event featuring a traditional food mezza and meals that can be ordered online. The event will occur the 2nd weekend of September.
In these days of the Coronavirus, many people in today’s society feel lonely and have no one to talk to, no friends, not even a spiritual guide. They feel happy and grateful to join an active and dynamic community of Catholic faith, such as Holy Family and participate in activities and in beautiful and rich liturgy around the year, where our English mass goes deep into the history of the church since the Apostles. It even uses in some of its passages the Aramaic Syriac language which was spoken by our Lord Jesus himself, by all of the Apostles and the people of His society. Don’t forget that the first of the four Gospels of the New Testament were written by the Evangelist Matthew in the Aramaic language. Our Faith Formation and MYO teachers and children, have read Pope Francis’ mind, and mailed hand-written, personalized letters to the members of the community who are elderly, sick or living alone, thereby showing their support and solidarity with them. On their behalf we thank our teachers, students and parents for their precious thoughts. This is what is wonderful about Holy Family; evangelization is practiced in every activity, in every event and every age. At Holy Family, even though we do not have designated volunteers for many activities, everybody is dedicated, energetically committed and determined volunteers. They are loyal, faithful, kind, ready to serve and assist, from generation to generation.
I take this opportunity to express on behalf of the entire parish, our gratitude and thanks to all of the families and individuals who show their constant support and generosity to the church with so much care and attention. Your generosity is highly appreciated and makes such a positive difference in the church life and mission. We thank all generous people who donated and keep donating. This also includes all of the families and individuals who have showed and continue to show their compassion for our brothers and sisters in Beirut and Lebanon, who have been deeply affected by the disastrous explosion of August 4. A massive campaign is being organized by the Maronite Eparchy, in Minnesota with the participation of Saint Maron in Minneapolis, Holy Family and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul. The campaign is to support Caritas Lebanon, the major Catholic charity of Lebanon and the Middle East. Posters and detailed announcements have been placed on Facebook and the website. Thank you, donors.
Tuesday, September 8, is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Liturgy will be celebrated at 6:00 PM. May the Virgin Mary bless the Church Annual Festival.
Sunday, September 13, the eve of the Holy Cross, will mark the 6th anniversary of my appointment as pastor of Holy Family church of Saint Paul, and the 34th anniversary of my ordination (September 13, 1986). I take this opportunity to ask for your prayers and support and express my appreciation to all of you for your support and care, and on this occasion, I would like to thank Bishop Elias Zaidan for his trust and constant support of my service.
Monday, September 14, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Liturgy will be celebrated on Sunday, September 13. This feast will start the Season of the Holy Cross and will continue until the beginning of November.
Wishing you a blessed month of September, assuring you that the church is glad to offer all spiritual assistance needed for all parishioners and friends.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Copyright (c) 2020 Holy Family Maronite Church, St Paul. (v2010.03)