St. Sharbel Church of Clinton, Michigan Celebrates Dedication and Consecration of New Church
The new St. Sharbel Church in Clinton Township, Michigan, was officially dedicated and consecrated the weekend of 14-16 September 2018, with a full schedule of planned celebrations and events. The three-day weekend began on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and included a welcoming cocktail reception, a dedication gala, and the consecration and dedication of the new church.
The festivities began Friday evening with a cocktail reception and tour of the new church grounds. As the evening continued, families and visitors cheered with joy as the children and youth dabkeh and groups of parishioners danced the night away marking the start of a great weekend.
The dedication gala was held Saturday night at the Palazzo Grande Reception Hall in Shelby Township. More than 800 guests attended the grand celebration, which included dignitary speeches, dinner, dabkeh performances, and a live band and singer, Emad Batayeh, who had everyone pack the dance floor in celebration.
The “big day” finally came on Sunday when the church was officially dedicated and consecrated as a Maronite Catholic place of worship. Chorbishop Alfred Badawi, pastor of St. Sharbel Church, welcomed everyone to the church and Divine Liturgy which took two-and-a-half hours long and included the blessing of the doors, walls, and the altar of the sanctuary with Holy Water, Holy Oil, Holy Myron, and blessed incense.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Bishop Elias Zaidan of the Eparchy of our Lady of Lebanon. During the homily, the bishop told the faithful, "Let us be inspired by St. Sharbel and show our faith on a daily basis. This way, we are not only consecrating the building, but we are consecrating ourselves."
Several visiting bishops, monsignors, and priests from the Maronite and local eparchies also participated in the Divine Liturgy, including Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Eparchy of Detroit, and Auxillary Bishop Robert Fisher of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Chorbishop Simon Faddoul of the Maronite Eparchy of the Annunciation of West and Central Africa.
In attendance were also Chorbishop Richard Saad, Msgr. Peter Karam, Fr. James Grau, Fr. Milad Yaghi, Fr. Hanna Tayar, and Fr. Joseph Khalil in addition to Deacons John Sfire, Joe Pavlovich, and Subdeacon Michael Magyar.
Community members, visitors, and religious men and women from near and far packed the church and the church hall to witness the dedication ceremony and share in the joy of the community. Various church organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, the Men’s Club and the Ladies Altar Society welcomed visitors and assisted throughout the service. The event concluded with a celebratory reception for everyone in the church’s hall.
The weekend radiated the love and service of the St. Sharbel community that worked very hard through numerous committees and volunteers to plan an extraordinary weekend full of joy and thanksgiving. May our Lord, through the intercession of our beloved Saint Sharbel, continue to bless the Saint Sharbel community and all those who serve it, and may everyone who enters the church feel the same love and joy felt during the dedication weekend.