SCARED OF LOVE/ Mirna Nehme


Some say love is a fragrant rose
Some say love is a torrent of deep feelings
Some say love is a fountain of endless giving 
Some say love is a powerful force of all shaking the hearts the souls 
And yet i say love is the unknown mystery drawing us towards it 
Either embracing us or breaking us

My head is troubled
My thoughts are burning 
My mind is overwhelmed with joy fear uncertainty 
Do i plunge in this sea and drown in it?
Do i surrender to my feelings in the name of love?
Or do i withdraw from this uncertain battle?

 I gaze at the clear sky
I contemplate the illuminating moon the shining stars 
Everything around me whispers in my ear how beautiful love is
And like a little innocent girl i jump dance 
But very quickly i wake up from this dream and pull back

I can not hold the tears 
I am broken
I am distraught 
I am shattered
Scared of love i am and will always be

Message of His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay to the Faithful on the occasion of Easter 2017


We are Witnesses to His Resurrection (Acts 2:32)

Beloved Children of our Maronite Eparchy, 

1. "He is Risen... and we are witnesses to that" (Acts 2:32; 10:38-40). The Easter journey is a journey from the darkness of the tomb to the light of the Resurrection; a journey from the suffering of the Cross and the sorrow of death to the joy and glory of victory over pain and bereavement. The purpose of this journey is the attainment of eternal life. This great hope flowing from the historic event of Easter, is a witness to the death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This hope has endured through the centuries and reaches us today, for each one of us was in the mind and heart of Christ on the day of his crucifixion and also on the day of his Resurrection. As such, every person is invited to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and to proclaim the Paschal mystery, which is the passage of man, through the grace of Jesus, from death to life.

2. The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead is a truth, as bright as the sun. In the Gospels, we find the witnesses to this truth. Their testimonies complement one another and they are beyond any reasonable doubt. The first witness to his death and Resurrection is Jesus himself, who prophesied this several times. The Evangelist Matthew records Jesus speaking about his death and Resurrection on six different occasions. (12:38,  16:21 , 17:9, 17:22-23, 20:19, 26: 31-32)

3. Before I come to the witnesses of Christ's Resurrection, let us consider the testimonies to his death:

a. The first testimony of Jesus' death on the Cross was by the centurion who was responsible for the crucifixion (Matthew 27:45-65; Mark 15:33-41, 45).
b. The second testimony records that Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph asked for the body of Jesus to be taken down from the Cross. He wrapped it in linen and had it placed in a new tomb.  A large rock was rolled before the door of the tomb. It was sealed by orders of King Herod and watched over by guards. (Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:46; John 19:39-40; Luke 23:50-56)

4. The testimonies in the Bible to the Resurrection of Christ from the dead are many: 

a. First, the narrative of the empty tomb and the angel's statement to the women, saying: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” The angel also told them to proclaim the good news to the apostles. (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:6)

b. The second testimony to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is from the disciples Peter and John, who after hearing the news, came quickly to the place where Jesus was buried. They found the empty tomb, and the linen strips and handkerchief on the ground and believed that He had truly risen (John 20: 3-8).

c. The third witness came from the guards at the tomb who felt the earthquake. They witnessed the stone roll from the door of the grave and were surprised to see the angel of the Lord sitting on it.  His face was like the lightning, and his garments white as snow. The guards went into the city and reported to the elders and chief priests everything that had happened. But the chief priests devised a plan and gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them to say that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole him away while they were asleep. (Matthew 28: 2-4,11-15). This raises the question, how could the guards see the apostles steal the body of Jesus if they were asleep?

d. The final proof of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is his several apparitions after the Resurrection: first to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18), then to Peter (Luke 24:34) and then to the disciples of Emmaus with whom He walked and to whom he revealed Himself with the breaking of the bread (Luke 24: 13-35). All these appearances to the apostles were to strengthen their faith. However, the appearance of Jesus to Thomas, who was not with the apostles on the previous occasions, with its clear and tangible proofs, is the most beautiful and strongest testimony of his Resurrection. Today, we renew our faith in the death and Resurrection of Christ, despite the many attempts to discount and distort this truth in today's world, and we utter a cry of faith with the Apostle Thomas saying: “My Lord and my God!”

Dearly Beloved, 

5. Christian life is built on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and on constant witness to his Resurrection from the dead. This is the truth that our Maronite Church has lived and experienced generation after generation, and in defence of which it gave the blood of its martyrs. We are today called to renew our faith in this truth. With this belief, our Patriarch, His Beatitude and Eminence Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, along with the Maronite Synod of Bishops, declared a year for martyrdom and the witness of the martyrs, starting on the Feast of Saint Maroun on 9 February 2017 and concluding on the Feast of St. John Maroun on 2 March 2018. This also marks the passing of 1500 years from the martyrdom of the 350 monks of the Monastery of Saint Maroun in the year 517.

6. In order to be witnesses to the Resurrection of the Lord in today's society, we must be spiritually renewed by practicing the sacrament of reconciliation, participating in the Holy Mass, and receiving the body and blood of Jesus every Sunday, and even every day if we can. This is the best way to renew and strengthen our faith in Jesus, risen from the dead. We live this faith in our church through the intercession of the Saints. If our Church is to bear a better and broader Christian witness in Australia, we need to meet and put together spiritual and pastoral plans. We need to discuss the social problems and challenges that face us, especially the challenge of passing on the faith, the faith of our forefathers, to new generations.

7. With the aim of improving our Christian witness and strengthening the family and defending marriage, we launched, three years ago, plans to hold a Diocesan Assembly for our Maronite Eparchy in Australia. The good news today is that the Assembly will hold its first general meeting from the 24th to the 26th of November 2017 in Sydney, with the participation of parish and ecclesial representatives and Maronite organisations from all over the country.

8. Finally, with St Augustine we repeat: “It’s no great thing to believe that Christ died; even pagans and Jews and wicked people believe that. They all believe that he died. The faith of Christians is Christ’s resurrection. This is the great thing: we believe that he rose from the dead.”  As such, we understand that it is not possible to be true Christians unless we believe in the Resurrection of Christ. Jesus risen from the tomb and victorious over evil, sin and death, is ever present in the heart of the world, present through his Holy Spirit, through His living word, and in His body and blood in the Eucharist. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we then call to mind the truth of his suffering, death and Resurrection and his constant living presence with us. He is closer to us than ourselves because Jesus is the same: yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We live in hope of the revelation of his Glory in the second coming. 

9. On this Holy Day, we all turn to Jesus and cry out with one voice and in one faith: "Come, O Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20). Come and seal our hearts with the seal of your glorious Resurrection. Strengthen our faith that we may witness to you and boldly declare the truth of your Resurrection saying:

“Christ is Risen, Truly Risen… and we are witnesses to that.”



+ Antoine-Charbel Tarabay
Maronite Bishop of Australia
Easter Sunday, 16 April 2017 

Peace, the shattered dream/ Mirna Nehme

-1-
Peace? Does it exist anymore?
Does it have a meaning? 
Does it have a taste or it has become a shattered dream?
How can we sleep while others are starving? 
How can we sleep while others are persecuted?
How can we sleep while children are deprived of their innocence and purity? 
How and how and how?
-2-
Nations are burning; people are fleeing their homelands to the uncertain unknown which is compacted with fear and challenges. 
Wars are erupting at the expense of the innocent, the universe has turned into a dark forest where tyrants, criminals and corrupts are ruling with no mercy. 
The sky is blackened, the sun is saddened and the moonlight is dimmed. 
Tears are rolling, cries, lamentations are rising loudly and sharply, hearts are dismayed and broken and the earth is smeared with blood.
-3-
Will we ever or can we ever regain peace? 
Yes, hopefully one day a new dawn will break and the sun will shine brightly but until then peace remains a shattered dream.
**

Media Release from the New Board of White Stone


The Maronite Eparchy of Australia aims to further its apostolic, social and charity work based on the teachings of the Church, and as stated in the Seven Pastoral Priorities announced by Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay in 2013, and in particular the fifth priority: identifying pressing social problems and developing appropriate measures to address them.
Over the past years, Sister Rose Therese Tannous, Maronite Sister of the Holy Family, founded the White Stone Association to develop projects and programs aiming to raise awareness on the dangers of drug addiction and to provide pastoral care for individuals suffering from addictions and their families. It has also agreed to lease land in Bilpin, NSW from the Maronite Eparchy of Australia to build a drug rehabilitation centre.
Due to the apostolic, spiritual and social importance of the work of White Stone, and following the resignation of Sister Rose Therese Tannous in November 2016, the new Board of White Stone wishes to announce the following:
1. The Board is deeply grateful to Sister Rose Therese Tannous and all the individuals who worked with her, as well as the organisations and persons who supported this important humanitarian and social project.

2. The White Stone Association which was previously an independent registered association is taking steps to incorporation under both the Canon Law of the Church and the law of our land, Australia.

3. We emphasize our commitment to caring for individuals suffering from addiction and their families, especially the young people who have fallen victim to drugs, through White Stone. A new committee for White Stone was elected in December 2016 with Mr Daryl Melham, formerly the Federal Member for Banks, Subdeacon Danny Nouh as Public Officer, Mr Gerard Lahoud, Treasurer, lawyer Charbel Azzi and Ms Jeanette Samawi, as directors. 

Subdeacon Joseph Maatouk was appointed by the Board as Executive Officer and Secretary of White Stone, effective 1 March 2017.  The Board considers Subdeacon Maatouk as an exciting and suitable appointment due to his extensive experience with counseling of persons affected with drug addictions. 

4. MaroniteCare, the charitable and social works arm of the Maronite Eparchy of Australia, oversees the work and mission of White Stone. The new Board of Directors of White Stone has taken responsibility of the activities and assets of White Stone, effective 31 December 2016. The handover was conducted in a spirit of cooperation and ongoing collaboration. The summary of the assets is: 

a. Bank accounts to the value of $398,042, less arrears in loan repayments of $86,530, resulting in a net balance of $311,512.
b. A Toyota Hiace Commuter Bus (12 seater)
c. Office supplies in Harris Park and equipment for the property in Bilpin 

5. The new Board values the "Kadisha Centre" project in Bilpin, which includes, in addition to White Stone, several other community and social projects, most importantly a spiritual and retreat centre for young people and families.

6. We confirm that White Stone will be collaborating with skilled professionals and experts in social work, especially in the area of addiction, to develop a clear and organised vision to address the epidemic of addiction amongst our youth. This problem which claims the lives of a significant number of young people every year, leaves behind a gaping wound and great pain to their families and their church.

In conclusion, we renew our deep gratitude to Sr Rose Therese Tannous, and to the Congregation of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family, to the former Board members and to all the individuals who supported the launch of White Stone, this humanitarian project reflecting mercy and care. We pray to the Lord to increase in our community and the wider communities the spirit of love, cooperation and giving. 

For further information, please contact MaroniteCare on 028831 0000.

Homily of Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay Sunday of the Blind Man


Sunday 2 April 2017
Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, Harris Park

Your Grace Bishop Robert Rabbat, 
Your Excellencies: Minister Gebran Bassil and Minister Pierre Raffoul, 
Ministers of the Crown, 
Honourable Members of Parliaments,
Reverend Fathers and Maronite Sisters of the Holy family, 
Mr Charge d’Affaires and Consuls General, 
Distinguished guests,
Dearly beloved,

It is a beautiful occasion to celebrate the sixth Sunday of Lent and the last before Palm Sunday, reflecting on the miracle performed by our Lord Jesus Christ in healing the blind man. It is significant to understand that our Lenten journey is leading us to see Jesus with the eyes of faith in order to repair our view of the world and our relationships with others. 

It is also a source of joy for all of us today to welcome the visiting delegation from our homeland Lebanon led by his Excellency Mr Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, and accompanied by his Excellency Mr Pierre Raffoul, State Minister for Presidency Affairs. On behalf of the Maronite community in Australia, and together with our dear guests here today: His grace Bishop Rabbat, Mr Luke Foley, Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta,  Mr Phillip Ruddock, Special Envoy for Human Rights, Ms Julia Finn, Member for Granville, all our guests and the community of Our Lady of Lebanon Parish in Harris Park, I welcome you. It is our pleasure and our privilege to have 2 Lebanese ministers visiting us at the same time.  

Your visit is a testimony to the significance of the role of migrants to Lebanon. I am aware that you were very keen to travel to Australia to firstly consolidate the strong relationship between Australia and Lebanon, and secondly, to remind the Australian of Lebanese descent that their homeland Lebanon needs them.  We know, Minister Bassil, how much you value the importance of teaching our children in Australia the Arabic language and culture, and instilling in them the pride of their Lebanese roots and identity, as you said in Melbourne. 

The Lebanese migrants have benefitted from the wonderful opportunities of this generous and beloved land, Australia. But, at the same time, they contributed to this multicultural society and given back at all levels to the progress of this dear nation. 

Since I arrived to Australia in 2002, I have come to know the Lebanese community members, who are grateful and loyal to Australia, but who, at the same time, carry Lebanon in their hearts and dreams. I am confident today, more than ever, that the Lebanese dream of a better tomorrow has started becoming a reality with the election of His Excellency General Michel Aoun as President of the Lebanese Republic. We join our prayers to those of the millions of Lebanese all around the world, hoping that Lebanon will know prosperity and become, once again, an oasis of peace and harmony in the Middle East, and an example of coexistence between all religions and cultures.

BEXLEY AGM WITH MARK MOREY



By Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane
Before I begin I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land that we are on and pay my respects to their elders past and present

For those of you who don’t know, Unions NSW has been fighting for the rights of working people in one form or another since 1871. One of their original fights prior to them being unionised under one umbrella was for the Eight Hour Day for skilled tradespeople in the 1850s, and this would be expanded later to include all other workers who were missing out.

The Trades and Labor Council of Sydney (as it was called until 1908) allowed labourers to organise alongside the skilled trades unions to improve their rights, conditions and wages. By the 1950s, the Labor Council led a campaign for equal wages for women, and their right to equal pay was locked into law in 1972 by Gough’s Labor government.

In the post-war years the Labor Council fought and won battles for the introduction of leave entitlements and a reduction in working hours. Later, the Labor Council led campaigns for a 35-hour week, which while unsuccessful in the short term, pushed Australia towards the 38-hour week that we have taken for granted since the 1980s.

o The Labor Council was also instrumental in establishing the first work-based childcare centre in Australia. 

With the onset of the 1980s-90s recessions, Unions NSW played a key role in ensuring decent standards of redundancy payments for workers forced out by technological change and restructuring. 
Some other recent achievements by Australia’s unions include:

1. Penalty Rates for weekend and holiday work – originally established in 1947, when unions argued in the then-Arbitration Commission that people needed extra money for working outside normal hours.

2. Parental leave - Australian unions’ intensive campaigning for paid parental leave succeeded when the Paid Parental leave scheme was implemented by the Gillard Labor government. 

3. Superannuation - Prior to 1986, only a select group of workers were entitled to Superannuation. It became a universal entitlement after the ACTU's National Wage Case. Employers originally had to pay 3% of workers' earnings into Superannuation and this has risen over time, from 9% and then to 12% thanks to the 2011 the Unions’ “Stand Up for Super” campaign worked with the then-Labor Government.

4. Equal Pay for Women - Although there were attempts to introduce equal pay going back as far as 1949, the principle of equal pay for women was finally adopted by Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1969 and legislated later by Gough whitlam.

5. Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation – Australian workers compensation laws first started in West Australia in 1902. For many years unions agitated and campaigned for health and safety laws which compelled employers to provide a safe working environment, leading to achievements like the ban on asbestos in the 1980’s.

6. Sick leave and long service leave - Before sick leave, workers had to choose between their health and their income. Sick leave provisions began to appear in awards in the 1920’s and unions have campaigned hard for better sick leave conditions since then across all industries. One worthwhile note is, thanks to the efforts of Coal worker strikes and their unions long service leave was introduced in New South Wales first in 1951.

7. Shift allowances, uniform allowances - Unions in different industries have campaigned for allowances that are relevant to their members. Many workers who are required to wear uniforms in their jobs now get an allowance for this rather than having to pay for uniforms themselves. Shift allowances are money that is paid for working at night or in the afternoon.

8. Meal Breaks, rest breaks - Before unions agitated for meal breaks and rest breaks to be introduced, workers were required to work the whole day without a break. As late as 1973, workers at Ford in Melbourne engaged in industrial action over many issues, one of their demands being a proper break from the production line.

9. Collective Bargaining - Enterprise Bargaining was introduced in 1996 which allowed workers and their unions to negotiate directly with their employer over pay and conditions. Evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that collective bargaining delivers better wages than individual agreements for ordinary workers.

10. Unfair Dismissal Protection - Unfair Dismissal Protection came from the concept of a "fair go all round", after the AWU took a case to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1971. Since then, unions have campaigned for laws that reflect the 'fair go', so that employers can only sack someone if the dismissal is not judged harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

Each of these achievements did not happen by accident: they were results fought for by our trade unions and which have been resisted by captains of industry and finance.

o Today, we should be proud of these outcomes, but we cannot stop fighting. The Liberal-National Coalition has always been opposed to the work of our unions, and we must continue the struggle to protect our current state and improve the lives of future generations.

o To hear more about the good work still being done today, please join me in welcoming the Secretary of Unions NSW, my friend Mark Morey.

Forum for Australia and China Relations. titled China Relations in the Shadows of the Trump Presidency


A brief account of what Bob Carr’s message





By the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane

·        Bob Carr acknowledged the attendance. He said he was very much impressed with the community support for the Palestinian cause and a just solution to the Palestinian people.
·        He said that the world has been conned by successive Israeli governments who stated that they were in favour of a two state solution when in fact they continue to build more and more illegal settlements to the point that there are now over 600,000 new settlers.

·        He spoke of the far right Netanyahu government’s lack of interest in a two state solution.

·        He cited Israeli newspapers talking about the apartheid conditions that apply in Israel’s occupied territories and spoke of the terrible living conditions imposed on the Palestinian people.

·        He recalled, how as foreign minister, he fought within cabinet with the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard over how Australia ought to vote on the recognition of Palestine to the status of the Vatican. He noted how even with that Julia Gillard refused to even accept Australia abstaining from the vote. He reported his delight when his cabinet colleagues, one after the other supported him and the decision was taken not to oppose but to abstain.

·        He spoke of the role of the Zionist Lobby in Australia and the pressure they apply.

·        He spoke of the Israeli embassy affair over the forged passport and Kevin Rudd’s decision to expel an Israeli embassy staffer.

·        He noted how the Israeli lobby tried to paint some Humanitarian support for the Palestinians in Gaza as somehow supporting terrorists.

·        He also spoke of the great support provided by Labor MPs at state and Federal level for the motions at state and national Labor conferences calling for greater opposition to settlements and  now with the support of Labor members we will move that Labor Recognise the State of Palestine at the next state conference and thereafter at the next national Conference. This puts us n line with 137 countries who support the right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own.

·        Finally he was critical of PM Malcolm Turnbull who attacked the UNSC recent  resolution stating that all settlements are illegal. Bob said that even Trump told Netanyahu to ease off on settlements where as our Prime Minister failed. That places Turnbull to the right of even Donald Trump.

·        He thanked the branches and the Arabic friends of Labor for their tenacity and hard work and noted his delight to have former foreign Minister Gareth Evans, former Prime Ministers Bob Hawk and Kevin Rudd support the call for a recognition of Palestine Now.
  
As to my comments:
·        To state the obvious, all administrations were and are still staunchly Pro-Israel.
·        The United States remains a staunch ally and has consistently rejected international sanctions against Israel.
·        The United States’ unwillingness to alter its position vis-vis Tel Aviv meant that Israel was under no obligation to alter its own behavior.
·        Post 1978 Camp David accord however, almost every U.S administration began to query Israeli settlements.
·        From President Carter onward the shift to some recognition of a Palestinian autonomy began to develop. The actions of past Administrations show two things: 1. The strength of support for Israel and 2, the beginnings of a shift toward the rights of the Palestinian people to a nationhood.
·       Our hopes were high with Obama.  He stood up to Benjamin Netanyahu and regularly urged Israel to establish a moratorium on settlement expansion, but sadly during his presidency there were three large-scale Israeli military onslaughts against the besieged population of the Gaza Strip and as He was about to exit, he signed off on the U.S-Israel defense agreement guaranteeing Israel $38 billion in military aid over 10 years with no strings attached.

·        We hope now it is not too late as we now see Palestine disappear before our eyes.

·        I thanked the gathering and urged them to continue the struggle for Palestine. Apathy is no option. We must continue the fight for recognition of palestine before it disappears. The Labor Party is a social Justice party. It supports the rights of people. I am proud to have been a member of the party and proud of my friendship with Bob Carr. He has lead the fight and it is through his tenacity and perseverance that we now have members of the party actually speaking out as have many Labor members including former foreign Minister Gareth Evans, former Prime Ministers Bob Hawk and Kevin Rudd.


Invitation to the next meeting of the Bexley Branch of the Australian Labor Party


An Effective Policy: His Majesty King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander High-Place Holder

 
BY  Hussein Mohamed Al Iraqi
E-mail; hm901375@gmail.com   

   I saw the King deeply  thinks  in his people's  wishes  and case which  pouring  for the sake  of  home   and  it is  useful as evidence  of his department ruling at the heart of national concern (human rights and a dignified life for Dutch society and that people's right to life) as well as activism by people of the Netherlands he was incisive opinion and speak only with public note was prepared perfectly for every aspect of his  new role through his intensive activities on the overall level of serious attention and political administration  and  his  serious  concern of developments and events of the day "in our contemporary  world.  Netherlands Kingdom became respected by other countries.
    King Willem-Alexander  maintained a political nature that  peaked with the possessing of   Arab and international balance  in  a new awareness of social and political relations ,and accepted   with  necessary  duties assigned to this  post and work  management became  without any personal considerations and override  of the interests of the party or group ,in  implementing  his   duty and requested  the support and confidence of the Dutch people. " For while his personality is known ,note, that  Royal family in  Netherlands widely popular known  , his counterpart  is less and become pro rate for  the monarchy 78 per cent, referred to that  the Queen Beatrix of 75-year-old abdicating after spending 33 years in her position for her son King above  of  46 years old and specializes in water resource management note Netherlands King assured  that he wanted to be little  away  the protocols and to be close to the people.
     Willem assured  for  his intention between tradition and requirements of the 21st  century  and said I  want to be King continues the tradition and continue my tradition these contents pour for the country's stability and continuity of the work and became  the owner of  best experience  by reading 100 books and said I want to be King of the twenty-first century can assemble people around him and represent and encourage them  to  be an example  for them and note for King Willem built his life and political management on the love and appreciation and respect of  the people of the Netherlands because he is (King and Royal system?) While  the  majority  of  the republican build    its life and political  administration   on dictatorship political abuse, persecution and exile  for their  people,  my evidence  here  that  Syria and Yemen and Iraq, as well as the former Governor Saddam Hussein who exiled me more than a decade from 1993 and came  back  in  2004 and made me live humiliation with  Muammar Gaddafi ruler of Libya.
      His Majesty  assured  and said I'm not followed  any  protocol and people can call me as they please until they feel comfortable so it is no coincidence that the above  King is on the throne and immersed  himself in the management and protection of water in the Kingdom during the greater part of his life.
     What is  important   that recorded  by  King  his name, Willem Alexander that  he  made the Kingdom of Netherlands  as the intellectual and political center ,not paralleled   and has grown steadily, reaching her fame has become a junction today in front of  Dutch and  public opinion ,
   Sir Majesty please forgive me if I don't   described   you  fully  on press ,but  I  have  internal feelings and  I must  declare it to higher status honestly and frankly I wrote to all the Kings of the Arabs start of his Majesty the late King  the first ,Farouk of Egypt published   in Al Fiker  newspaper and ending with Libyan  King Idriss  Al Sunuci  published  in  network in Denmark because I have trends  to search   in  royal  systems  and my wish to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and specifically through formal  asylum , because  I   lost  the valuables and  precious  in  Iraq and    my  damning evidence publishes  in Al Gurba  Magazine   entitled( cry of wounded father ,the  journalist   , Hussein Mohamed Al Iraqi  today I intend  to travel  to the Netherlands to serve my cause (respect the monarchy? Wherever, I haven't  found like you for acceptance and appreciation greeting To  any  one  who  helped  me  , I will never forget as long as I live.
King Willem Alexander  born  on April 27, 1967, the first man will take the throne of the Netherlands  since 123 years ago and another Dutch King died in 1890 and since that time the succession to the throne (Queens) only about his own high school learning  he  attended  protestant  secondary school in the Hague and then attended   the military service in the Dutch Royal Navy from August   1985 to January 1987 also received his training in the Royal Dutch Navy College and studied history and earned academic degree in 1993. 
Iraq... Bagdad
King Willem Alexander,
 King of the Netherlands
  

Homily of His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay on the occasion of the Feast of St Maroun


9 February 2017


Dearly beloved in Christ,

The feast of St Maroun is an occasion for all of us, especially for Maronites, to be reminded that they belong to a family of saints. St Maroun and then the saints who followed in his footsteps: St John Maroun, St Charbel, St Rafqa, St Nehmetallah and many others, are role models in living the faith and outstanding examples of putting one’s trust in the Lord. 

Our celebration of the Feast of the Patron of our Church is enriched tonight by the presence of all our dear guests, friends parishioners, and Maronites from all over Sydney. Allow me to particularly welcome the Hon Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW, on her visit to this Cathedral and the Maronite community as Premier. We congratulate you on your election and pray that our Lord grants you the blessings and graces you need as you serve this wonderful state and its people.

The Gospel for the Feast of St Maroun is rich with lessons that we can take to inspire and guide us in our life. The “life in this world” which we are told to hate is the life of selfishness and greed, for it is this life which fears to lose anything of what it has, fears to follow Christ, and fears to die, because, for it, death is truly the end. 

But there is a life for which the death of the body is only the necessary precondition of a change. This is the spiritual life. The spiritual life takes many forms. This evening, we remember and celebrate the life chosen by St Maroun. This is the life of the monk and hermit: a life which follows Our Lord in embracing poverty, celibacy and obedience. Indeed, it is committed to obedience even unto death. Being prepared to let the body return to the earth for the sake of the Kingdom of God, we are assured of a glorious fruit-bearing rebirth, for the physical body is the grain which bears within it the seed of the soul.

This very rebirth is perhaps the defining feature of the spirituality of St Maroun. This great saint, who died about 1600 years ago, died to the social life of the city to be reborn as a hermit in the countryside of Syria. He left his home for an abandoned pagan temple on a hillside. He converted that temple to an honoured church of the true God. He taught lay persons to die to their lives of sin, anger and laziness, and be reborn in goodness, patience and activity. He taught the most dedicated of the men and women to die to their worldly occupations, and become hermits, monks, nuns and missionaries, leading people all across Syria and Lebanon to the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel of Salvation.

The spirituality of St Maroun was that of a monk and hermit. It involved mortification of the body and the perfection of the soul through: daily prayer, fasting and sacrifices. Maroun knew that just as the Olympic athlete needs to train the body and mind, so too does the spiritual athlete. And this spirit of mortifying the body to sanctify the soul was evident in the lives of the followers of Maroun and the history of the Maronites who were willing to give up their life in defence of the true faith in Jesus Christ.  

As such, the spirituality of the Maronite Church is based upon the monastic traditions of detachment from earthly things, and the witness of the martyrs who sacrificed their life to be reborn in the image of Christ and gain eternal life.

Our Maronite Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops have declared a year, from the Feast of St Maroun 2017 to the Feast of St John Maroun, on the 2nd of March 2018, as the Year of the Martyrs and their Witness. Anyone with some knowledge of the history of the Church and of Christians in the Middle East, can see how timely this is. This is a period devoted to remembering, praying for, and seeking the prayers of the martyrs. If anyone has learned the truth of voluntarily laying down one’s life to be given it back in eternity by God, it is the blessed martyrs.

Together with this year long theme, here in Australia we have two unique events to bring to your attention: these are the International Maronite Youth Forum to be held in July in Lebanon. The theme for this gathering is “Be Strong and Engaged”. And then, in November, we are holding our Maronite Diocesan General Assembly for our Eparchy here in Australia, to bring together clergy and people from all over the country, to consider where we are heading as a Church in this land.

As we celebrate the Feast of St Maroun this year, let us remember that we are children of a holy calling. We are called to be the grain of wheat in this world, although small, we are called to bear good fruits. This is our calling: to walk in the footsteps of St Maroun who drew people close to our Lord. As our Maronite community is growing in Australia, I am pleased to say that planning is progressing for the establishment of seven new parishes, and these are: in New South Wales, St Raymond’s in Auburn, St John the Second in Ryde, The Hills Parochial District, and the Milperra Parish; in Victoria, St Charbel’s Parish in Greenvale and St Anthony’s Centre in Dandenong; and in Western Australia, St Charbel’s Parish. 

We are also blessed in our Eparchy to have eleven seminarians, preparing to join the priesthood and to serve our Maronite people in different capacities. This Holy Feast is a beautiful occasion to call upon all young men and women to search for their vocation in life and heed their calling, whether as ordained men and consecrated women, or lay people serving in the Church.  

Dearly beloved, may we live up to our calling to be good seeds in this world, whatever our vocation may be. Let us ask St Maroun, Our Lady and all the saints, to add their prayers to ours in seeking from the Lord God the wisdom, strength and patience, to make this Year of the Martyrs and their Witness a year of true spiritual rebirth for us all.


Leadership Workshop For Personnel Working with Minors and Vulnerable Persons

Maronite Eparchy of Australia 

Under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, the Maronite Eparchy of Australia held its annual workshop entitled “A Safe Parish”, for Eparchy personnel, whether volunteer or paid, who deal with children, teenagers, the elderly, and persons with special needs.  

The workshop took place on Saturday 28 January 2017, at Our Lady of Lebanon Community Centre, Harris Park.  In attendance were some 70 members of our committees, representing various Maronite parishes and organisations, and members of the clergy, from the state of New South Wales.

This initiative aims to enhance and strengthen the seven pastoral priorities of the seven-year plan put in place by His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay.

The workshop informed attendees of the laws applicable when working with children, teenagers, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.  It focussed on the responsibilities of our youth when dealing with children and minors in our Maronite parishes. 

His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay opened the workshop and led the opening prayer. He thanked attendees for responding to his invitation and for giving up their time for the benefit of the community and its people.  

This workshop was prepared and presented by Mrs Amal Bousamra. She thanked all attendees for their hard work towards the success of the Church, and its works and mission.  She emphasised the Bishop’s intention to provide regular training sessions to all persons working in the mentioned fields, and that it was designed for both self-development and the benefit of the Eparchy, while responding to Church and government requirements. 

Mr Geoff Officer, Diocesan Financial Administrator for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, was the first speaker.  He emphasised on the importance of pastoral work in the Church, and in particular, volunteer work in service of its mission.

In her presentation, Ms Katherine Juric, Co-ordinator of Risk Consulting  at Catholic Church Insurance, spoke about “Workplace Health and Safety” when dealing with children and vulnerable persons.  She highlighted the importance of keeping the Church safe, and protecting the wellbeing of its employees, both volunteer and paid, minors and vulnerable persons, as well as our parish and diocesan organisations visitors.

Fr Timothy Brennan, Director, and Mr Thomas Bagot, National Protection & Prevention Officer, at the National Professional Standards Office, spoke about each person’s responsibility for protecting children and vulnerable persons. They emphasised the different ways of protecting children and ourselves, at the same time.

At the end of the workshop, all attendees were issued with policy booklets, for future reference.

Msgr Marcelino Youssef concluded this beneficial day with a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all His graces.  He also stressed that the lessons learnt today should not stop here, but should be put into action in all fields of pastoral work within the Maronite Eparchy of Australia.