Abouna's Message of the Month

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus our Lord.


One more year of our lives is history. It was a challenging year even if less than 2020. Health stayed a priority. Safety is still concern. Masses on Facebook, streaming and broadcasting, spiritual Communion, zoom virtual meetings are still a constant practice for Church life. As if another e-church with e-services became an essential part of the game. Many are choosing to attend Mass physically while others remain attending virtually via Facebook. None of these things were previously imagined. Although we thank God we started getting prepared technologically three months before the pandemic, we need to be ahead in keeping the community committed to its faith, culture and traditions. While we became creative in inventing new ways to preserve our traditions and faith, in this sad time of the Coronavirus, it is time to encourage each other to break the wall created by the pandemic and get back to the tradition of our fathers, mothers, jiddoos and sittoos in their commitment and dedication to their church and faith. With your help and assistance, participation and support, Holy Family has survived. The activities of the Church continued with minimal interruption.


We are always asked to pray for the elderly and those suffering not only from the Corona virus but all illnesses, including those suffering from lowliness, quarantine and isolation. Many wish they could attend Mass physically at Church. Because of this, I encourage our healthy parishioners to take advantage of their good health to thank God and attend Mass at least once or twice a month at Church.


The month of January came so fast. The New Year celebration brings to our attention the concept of time: history, past, present and future. It causes us to think about age: childhood, teenage, young adulthood, adulthood, and senior age. It reminds us that we are getting one step older as we await the surprises of the future and keep hoping that the Lord keeps us safe and healthy. Just think of the last two years; how many of our relatives or friends that we lost and who are gone forever and you can understand what I mean.


The New Year reminds us that Jesus is the center of history, 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). All History is based on just one date and all other dates are before (BC) or after (AD). This one year is the year zero AD of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus. All of our birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, First Communions, weddings and deaths have their dates, but the common point of them all is that they are all based on the year of the Nativity of the Lord. How blessed we are to have all of humankind history based on the Nativity of Jesus.


The question of time and age flashes in our mind when thinking about a lost year. Losing a beloved member of family, makes us think about the reality of life. We remember our departed and beloved ones in masses and liturgies celebrated in 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 2022 of His Nativity, to keep us in hope and faith to witness His Love and Grace, hoping that this year be for His glory.


I take this opportunity to extend a word of thanks to all Holy Family parishioners and friends who showed such great generosity and trust toward me, the unworthy servant of the parish, in this season of Christmas and New Year, by sending me beautiful Christmas cards and gifts. I consider this generosity a kind gesture and will use it for the cause of the poor and the needy in the US and in Lebanon. I hope to fulfill always my duties in the service of the parish.


I would like to thank all active church groups: the church councils, Ladies Society, Merrynites, Faith Formation, Choir and Men’s Club, the MYO active group, the ladies who decorate the church and the grounds and our maintenance team, and especially Carolyn, our secretary, for all the efforts and contributions you constantly provide for the church and community. Thank you also, to our many donors who made many church projects possible. God bless you all. A very special thank you to the Church Choir who, despite the challenges of holding a Christmas concert, did an outstanding job performing a wonderful Christmas concert Wednesday, December 29. There was a variety of beautifully performed songs, all of which were streamed online. Thank you all. You can still watch the concert and play it back on the Holy Family church Facebook as well as most of the church activities.


Thank you to the MYO for their activities to benefit the church and others. God bless our MYO group.


Holy Family Maronite Catholic Church has always been known to be a place of 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, in particular in the Holy Land and the Middle East, especially Lebanon, where the last stronghold of Christianity in the Middle East still survives, surrounded by an ocean of darkness, 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 United States of America a land of Christian faith and peace and prosperity.


The month of January includes the Feast of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord on January 6 where Liturgy will include the ritual of the blessing of the water.


During January the church dedicates one week of prayer for church unity. Let us pray for the unity of the diverse and rich traditions and spirituality of the church under one shepherd, the successor of Peter, His Holiness Pope Francis, and his evangelical teachings and guidance. At the same time we pray for his beatitude, Maronite Cardinal Bechara Peter of Antioch, and for our bishop Elias and all the bishops of the true faith. May the Lord guide their steps.


A Parish Council Elections and nominations of new council members will be held during this month. Thank you for your support and dedication. I thank all present and past parish council and finance members for their constant dedication and commitment to the church service. Your participation is making a great difference.


On behalf of Holy Family, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Chorbishop Sharbel Maroun whose birthday, baptism, Priesthood Ordination and elevation to the degree of Monsignor and then Chorbishop, all held on January 6 of the respective years.


God bless you all and may the Lord fill your new year with his gifts and graces.


Yours,

Abouna Emmanuel Nakhle-Ghorr +


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