and grow like a cedar of Lebanon
الصديق كالنخل يزهر، ومثل أرز لبنان ينمي
Our Shepherd’s Corner this week is a wonderful Thank You Message from the Patriarchal Vicar, Archbishop Paul Sayah, on behalf of His Beatitude and Eminence Patriarch Becharra Boutros Cardinal Rai. Archbishop Sayah accompanied the Patriarch on His Beatitudes recent Visit to Australia and sent the following Thank You message to the Priests, Staff, and Volunteers of Our Lady of Lebanon Parish.
Archbishop Sayah writes:
“Our pastoral visit to Australia has been an all around wonderful experience. It gave us the opportunity to meet some of our Lebanese people, but mostly our dear Maronites of Australia about whom we had heard so much, especially about their commitment to their Church and their attachment to the home country.
The various encounters we had with you and your parishioners were distinct highlights of our visit. The very sight of such an impressive building complex shows immediately the huge dimensions of the enterprise. You feel immediately that you are not dealing with an ordinary parish.
The warmth of the reception upon our arrival to the co-cathedral, on our first visit, stands very much alive in my mind. This shows how much the various components and all ages of the community members are implicated in the life of the parish. Then the organization of the liturgy, so well and so minutely prepared, shows another vital aspect of the pastor's spiritual work in depth which is ultimately the main objective of the parish ministry.
The blessing of the foundation stone for the OLOL Presbytery points to also to the awareness of what is still needed and the willingness to face huge new costs to bring to completion the master plan which provides the parish with all the building facilities. The fact of leaving the building of the presbytery to the end shows also that the pastoral priorities are set in the right order! The lunch hosted by the parish with representatives of various parish committees and organizations present, gives a global view of the huge and comprehensive operation going on at Our Lady of Lebanon, Harris Park.
To top it all came the festival and Blessed Sacrament adoration with the youth. There is no doubt that the youth ministry is one of the most important if the parish is to be future oriented as each parish ought to be if it is prosper and last.
On behalf of His Beatitude, myself and the delegation, I wish to congratulate you on the great ministry you are engaged in. Please do pass on our deep gratitude and great appreciation to the priests and to each and everyone of the people, organizations and committees involved, for the huge human efforts and material resources invested in the preparation and execution of the visit.
We pray that almighty God may continue to grant you wisdom, strength and commitment to pursue your ministry with an ever greater dedication to the work of the Kingdom.
With renewed gratitude, warm good wishes and all God's blessings upon your great pastoral ministry.
Arch. Paul Sayah
Patriarchal Vicar General”
This is a wonderful recognition to all who have served and worked in the parish not only for the visit of the Patriarch, but over many years and with faith, hope, and love expressed in sacrifices, great generosity in time, energy and resources for the Mission of Christ and His Kingdom in our Parish. And it is encouragement to move forward in the same spirit.