Maronites in Sydney prepare for beatification

Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, centre, celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lebanon and the 320th anniversary of the passing of Venerable Patriarch Estephan El Douaihy at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park, with Archbishop Charles Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, at right, as well as Bishop Robert Rabbat of the Melkite Catholic Church. Photo: Alfred Boudib/Visualeyes Photography

As Lebanon continues to prepare for a very special beatification, Sydney’s Maronites are certainly well prepared to celebrate with their latest church addition.

Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lebanon and the 320th anniversary of the passing of Venerable Patriarch Estephan El Douaihy at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park, where he unveiled and blessed a new bust statue of the soon-to-be beatified Patriarch.

“It is truly providential that these two significant events have converged, for we know that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lebanon, the patron saint of our homeland, held a special place in the heart, vocation, and service of Patriarch Al Douaihy,” Bishop Tarabay said in his homily.

“He is known as ‘the memory of the Maronite Church’ because he, more than anyone else, made a determined effort to reorganise the Maronite Liturgy with clear focus on the liturgy of the Holy Mass.”

Notable attendees for the Mass on Sunday 5 May included Archbishop Charles Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, as well as Bishop Robert Rabbat of the Melkite Catholic Church.

Decorate with roses, the statue was revealed to hundreds of Maronite parishioners as they exited the Cathedral and converged in the car park, before heading into the church hall for a documentary on the life of Patriarch El Douiahy.

Maronite - Sydney - The Catholic Weekly
Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay unveiled and blessed a new bust statue of the soon-to-be beatified Patriarch on the feast of Our Lady of Lebanon and the 320th anniversary of the passing of Venerable Patriarch Estephan El Douaihy at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park. Photo: Alfred Boudib/Visualeyes Photography

The statue was generously donated by Sarkis Jalalaty and his family, who had originally ordered it for his own home from Lebanese sculptor Albert Basbous.

Bishop Tarabay reinforced the importance of Patriarch El Douaihy’s love of Mary in his life and the lives of all Maronites.

“The Virgin Mary was at the heart of Patriarch El Douaihy’s mission and at the centre of his Patriarchal Seal.

“She was portrayed sitting on a throne carrying Jesus in her arms. As such, Our Lady would be on every official document that the Patriarch signed and sealed.

“She beckons us to hold steadfastly to our Christian identity and our status as disciples of the Lord for it is our glory; it is our hope and our mission.”

The Patriarch is set to be first beatified Maronite Patriarch come 2 August in Bkerke, the episcopal see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate.

The post Maronites in Sydney prepare for beatification appeared first on The Catholic Weekly.

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