by Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh, MSCL
The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light visited Lebanon for three weeks in the months of October and November. Initially, they participated in a silent retreat, several mission and apostolic activities, and two youth groups. The first group consisted of four hundred youth and their Bishop, His Excellency Michel Aoun from Jbeil. The theme, Plant Your Fingerprint, presented spiritual conferences, Liturgy, adoration and testimonials. Sister Therese Maria discussed contemporary challenges faced by the Maronite youth of America. Bishop Joseph Mouawad conducted the second youth gathering held in Zahle under the topic, What is my Vocation? Bishop Joseph spoke about the gift of vocation and the meaning of ‘discern.’ On their journey, the Maronite Servants visited the Missionary Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament in Jbeil. They prayed with the elderly in their ‘House of Mercy’ located in Kfarmasshoun followed by a trip to the Sisters’ school and orphanage in Beit Habbak. The Maronite Servants’ visit to the Sesobel Institute in Ain El Rehani was an enlightening experience. This school cares for two hundred and fifty mentally and physically disabled children in their physical therapy and autism centers. The children exhibited true happiness and joy in the midst of their challenges. Before returning to the United States, the Maronite Servants visited His Beatitude, Patriarch Beshara Peter Rai, in Bkerke. Patriarch Rai discussed his recent visit to Rome and participation in the Synod on Young People. He emphasized the importance of listening to the concerns of our youth. Finally, the Maronite Servants thanked God for their opportunity to visit Lebanon and sympathize with so many people who face difficulties in their lives. They felt extremely fortunate and blessed to have been a part of this wonderful experience.