Tag Archives: Maronite

As with the married couple, so with the Church: love and forgiveness given and received

Being really Catholic
opens one’s point of view to a great richness of the entire Church, East and West; being Catholic as John Paul II reminded us, is to breath with both lungs to invigorate the whole body. Most often Latin Catholics are too skeptical, too closed-minded to look beyond their parochial understanding of God and Church.

Each Sunday Jesuit Father Steve Bonian, a
Maronite Catholic American priest reflects on the liturgical theology of his
church. If you done a little reading in the liturgical history of the Church you will recall with joy that the Maronites have an incredibly rich liturgical tradition that ought to be appreciated more. For one thing the Maronite Liturgy is wonderfully Semitic in its pattern of prayer.

The Maronite Church, the majority of Catholics from Lebanon, celebrated
yesterday the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church. The Roman Church does
not have an equivalent liturgical observance, unless you make a connection with
the Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of the Roman Church’s year.  
The Maronite liturgical theology for the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church you note that “the Bride-Church re-consecrates herself and her children, the faithful, to Christ.”

Father Bonian writes,


letter to the Hebrews reminds us that the Temple in Jerusalem and it’s rituals
was only a temporal preparation for the “new order” that would be established
between Christ and his Church and her children.

From now on the Children of God
would worship him in Spirit and Truth on earth as in the Heavenly Jerusalem.
For it is not God’s will to dwell among stones, but in the caring hearts of his
faithful people, and among them to establish his Kingdom. Our Church Community
is this New Temple!

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Residences of Maronite and Melkite Bishops in Aleppo, Syria

Archbishops Youssef Anis Abi-Aad, 72, and Jean-Clément Jeanbart, 69, have taken refuge in other places since their residences were ransacked in the past few days. Clashes between Assad’s forces and other groups are to blame. It is said that “unidentified groups, who want to foster a sectarian war and involve the Syrian people in a sectarian strife.” Not a much more is known at this point.

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Maronite Archbishop Youssef Anis Abi-Aad (left) said his residence and a local Christian museum were ransacked destroying personal and professional affects including icons.

Jean-Clément Jeanbart.jpeg

Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart (right) and some of his priests went to Lebanon in the face of violence.
It is reported that Christians make up about 7.5 to 10% of the Syrian 20 million population.
Both Maronite and Melkite Churches are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome.
We pray,
O God, author and lover of peace, to know you is to live, to serve you is reign; defend against every attack those who cry to you, so that we, who trust in your protection, may not fear the weapons of any foe.
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Melkite and Maronite Churches begin Lent today

Transfiguration of Christ PPerugino.jpgThe Byzantine Catholic Church, along with the Maronite
Church, begin the Lenten observance. The Byzantines call today Clean Monday,
the first day of the Great Fast. Maronites call today “Ash Monday.” The
Byzantine Orthodox Church will open their Lent on Monday, February 27.

The Latin Church begins her Lent on Wednesday, 22 February.

the Byzantines the traditional liturgical practice is to celebrate Great
Compline, which will include the singing of a portion of the Great Canon of
Saint Andrew of Crete. Find a Melkite parish near you to celebrate
Compline tonight.

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Maronite Bishop admonishes Obama for rebuff of Patriarch Béshara Raï

Béshara Raï, 71, is making a pastoral visit to the Maronite Catholic
communities in both US eparchies from 4 to 23 October 2011. His Beatitude will visit Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon  and the Eparchy of St Maron of Brooklyn.

President Barack Obama has roundly refused to meet the Patriarch. Bishop Gregory openly makes the case that it is a mistake of the current administration to ignore His Beatitude’s visit to the USA.

Béshara Raï, was elected on March 15, 2011 as the 77th Patriarch of the Maronite Church.

Bishop Gregory’s letter:

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September 30, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

I am terribly
disappointed with the rebuff of Patriarch Bechara Peter Rai who is the Catholic
leader of the Maronites worldwide and one of the most respected Christian
leaders in Lebanon and the Middle East . The motto of his coat of arms
reflects his personality and is call for “communion and love.” He has been
trying to achieve what no other Middle Eastern political or a religious leader
has been able to do: meet others with respect and love, not take sides,
and build bridges to a future that will hopefully lead to peace and happiness
for all people in the Middle East.

Muslim and Christian groups have all found
in him a real father, a Patriarch.  Because he has spoken out expressing
his concern for the future of Christians in the Middle East , he has been
rebuffed by you and your Administration. It is pure hypocrisy for the
leader of the free world to refuse to meet with Patriarch Rai especially since
the Prime Minister of Israel can come and completely disregard essential parts
of a peace plan and still be given a warm welcome, and the King of Saudi
Arabia, where Christians have no freedom whatsoever, can be received with highest
honors. Mr. President, you are ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle

Patriarch Rai’s warning about the future of Christians in Syria is not
taboo. Christians are in a state of peril in the same way that Christians of
Iraq were a few years ago when two thirds of them migrated out of the country
and are still not protected to this day. To say the Patriarch supports
dictators and sides with terrorists is pure nonsense. With his own unique
charisma, Patriarch Rai has reached out to all Lebanese with whom he has to
live side-by-side. It is a beautiful outreach, one that is uniquely his,
without having to be beholden to anyone.  He speaks with love and tempers
the divisive, hateful talk of many. He gives hope

A new day is dawning in the
Middle East. The Arab Spring is happening with little vision for the
summer that will ensue.  Mr. President, you do not have to agree on
everything with Patriarch Rai, but there is no need to avoid or rebuff
him.  By doing so, you are showing your disrespect for him and for all
Christians of the Middle East.

Mansour, Gregory John.jpg+ Gregory J Mansour

Bishop of the Eparchy of
Saint Maron of Brooklyn

Patriarch Béshara Raï begins new ministry as the Maronite head and father working on unity

Sfeir & Rai March 25 2011.jpg

In his letter to the new Patriarch, granting “ecclesiastica communio”, Pope Benedict prayed that Patriarch Béchara Peter would be assisted by the Lord in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fervent in his teaching of the faith; the Pope also said “It is a motive of pride for your Church to be united from the beginning to the Successor of Peter. Peter was called by Jesus to preserver the unity of his one Church in truth and in love. Following a beautiful and ancient tradition, Peter’s name is added to the patriarch’s”
Pope Benedict’s fraternal support was echoed in his hope that the Patriarch had “all the ardor, illumined by wisdom and tempered by prudence, to guide the Maronite Church.”
The Maronite Church was established by Saint Maron having lived in the 4th and 5th centuries. Patriarch Béchara Peter is the 77th father of a Church of 3 million people worldwide. Besides the Middle East, Maronites are present in Western Europe, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, the United States of America, and Canada.

The video of Patriarch Béchara Peter Raï’s enthronement Liturgy on March 25, 2011.

Digging back into TV history, Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa of EWTN talks with the US Maronite Bishops Gregory Mansour and Robert Shaheen about the role of the Maronite Church in the overall unity of the Catholic Church. Father Pacwa gives a sense of Maronite spirituality. Watch the show.

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.
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