by Salma Vahdat
On Sunday, February 10th, the ninety third feast day of our patron, Saint Maron, was celebrated at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Sayedna Gregory Mansour celebrated the Divine Liturgy assisted by Reverend Dominique Hanna, Rector, Peter Frangie and Subdeacon Norbert Vogl. It is always a joyous occasion and reminder of the rich and noble history of the Maronite Catholics.
In his homily, Sayedna Gregory spoke about our beloved Saint Maron who left the material world to become an “open air” hermit seeking a closer communion with God. He strived to do God’s work on earth by serving the poor and disenfranchised, feeding the hungry and comforting the sick and grieving. Sayedna reflected on his recent trip to Nigeria on behalf of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Originally, the Global Fund, an international group of all religions gave a (273 million dollar) grant to the government of Nigeria to eliminate disease. Due to governmental issues, the grant was stopped after one year. Fortunately, CRS stepped in to help, and in two years were able to decrease the malaria rate from 42% to 27%. The humanitarian aid and dedication of CRS in spirit with Saint Maron helps others in need. Reverend Dominque commented that God expects us to aspire to greatness and to follow Saint Maron’s example of connecting with God and sharing love for humanity.
After the Liturgy, a luncheon was held at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island. This gave our community the opportunity to greet family and friends. Our MCF youngsters recited facts about the life of Saint Maron. Sonia Abi Habib, our MC, graciously thanked all for their enthusiasm. We enjoyed this event organized by Therese Abi Habib and her committee.