Eastern Church: June 2013 Archives

Fr Franҫois Mourad.JPG

Father Franҫois Mourad, 49, a Syrian monk, was killed on June 23, during a raid on the Franciscan monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua in Ghassanieh, a predominantly Christian village in the district of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey.

Father Mourad was trained by the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land Custody before joining the Trappists for a period of time. His formation as monk with the Trappists eventually led him to be ordained a priest in the Syrian Catholic Church of Al-Hasakah. Following the teaching of Saint Simon, Father Mourad founded a monastic community in Hwar, in the Aleppo Province.

Vatican Radio has a story here and there is another news report here.

May Father Franҫois Mourad's memory be eternal.

The Apostles' Fast 2013

| | Comments (0)
Ss Peter and Paul coptic.jpeg

Recently on the Sunday of All Saints (26 May 2013) --the Byzantine Church observes a different feast of All Saints than do the Latin Christians-- the Eparch (the Greek word for bishop) of the Melkites in the in the USA, Bishop Nicholas James Samra wrote to his people about preparing for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. Yes, some Catholics do make preparations for other feasts!

One of the reasons I am drawing our attention to this matter is two-fold: 1.) being Catholic is more than merely following the Latin Church's disciple -- we can learn from others; and 2.) the discipline of those who belong to Christ is more than merely praying, fasting, and almsgiving for selfish reasons, that is, these spiritual activities are to break open our spiritual capacities. Remember what John Paul taught: Christians breathe with two lungs.

The liturgical feast of Ss. Peter and Paul is traditionally preceded by a period of concerted prayer and fasting. These saints --indeed, all of the apostles-- are the pillars of our Church. In times past the period of fasting was significant while today it is much modified. The controlling idea is that before an important feast of the Lord, the Mother of God and some saints, the faithful are encouraged to prepare themselves to receive God's graces in a worthy manner. We prepare by getting rid of sin and living virtuously: corporal and spiritual works of mercy are good things to do.

Eastern Catholic Churches 2011 stats.jpg
Just to give a sense of numbers of faithful who are members of the various Eastern Churches. While these stats are of 2011, they are basically correct. The churches that see growth are the Ukrainians, Malabars and Malakars.
We need witnesses. This is an idea that I am echoing from the teaching of Paul VI. Who are the witnesses that lead you to a deeper relationship with the Other, with friends, and with oneself?

A friend sent me the story of Matushka Magdalena who faced persecution wreaked by the Khruschev's regime. What this story gets at, I think, is that nothing is given to us by happenstance. That is, in some strange yet beautiful way we ought to attribute the circumstances of our life to Divine Providence. Nothing is by accident. At least that's what I think the article "An Amazing Story of Betrayal and Repentance" gets at.

Eastern Christians need our support through prayer and friendship. Let's pray for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in lands of the Rus.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Eastern Church category from June 2013.

Eastern Church: May 2013 is the previous archive.

Eastern Church: July 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.