Maronite Catholic Society- Christmas Dinner 2013 with Bishop Tarabay

As customary every year, the Maronite Catholic Society (MCS) held its Christmas Dinner last night at the BayBlu Seafood Restaurant in Blakehurst. In attendance were his Excellency Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, his Excellency George El Bitar Ghanem, Consul-General of Lebanon, Reverend Father Joseph Sleiman, Father Superior and Rector of St Charbel’s Monastery and College, Monsignor Emmanuel Sakr, Father Antoine Tohme, Father Youhanna Azize, Sister Josephine Wehbe, Mr and Mrs Anwar Harb together with the Members of The Society and their spouses and a small number of Maronite Youth.
The highlight of the evening was the Bishop’s message: “As Cardinal George Pell says, ‘the Maronites are the backbone of the Catholic Church’. It is all about a revolution and hope. As Saint Aghostinos said ‘hope has two facets: Anger and Courage- Anger to stop what is not right and courage to effect change. Maronites are invited to have courage in order to change for New Horizons and cooperation is the key word.
Bishop Tarabay then proceeded to thank the members of the Maronite Catholic Society stressing on the word “LOVE” and quoted St Paul to deliver his Christmas message inviting all to practise what we preach, to take action and not mere words...and carry out an introspection and dig deep into the inner self....He wished for the MCS to open the door for new members and hoped for a significant increase of members by this time next year...and stressed that the increase should encompass both men and order for the MCS to be the real force within the Maronite Church....
The Bishop took time to thank the Maronite Youth and congratulated them on the mention of their name in the NSW Parliament following an Anti-Gay Marriage letter they had written to a Member of the Upper House. 
Finally his Excellency wished all a Blessed Christmas to: Consul-General of Lebanon, Sister Josephine Wehbe, representing all the Maronite Sisters, all the clergy present and to all the members of the Maronite Catholic Society and their families- alluding to Professor Philip Salem, symbol of international success, currently visiting Australia, adding that the secret of Prof Salem’s success lies in the fact that he has loved every patient that he treated. If there is no love, there is no success.
To wrap up and before the MCS members exchanged Christmas greetings they presented Bishop Tarabay with a valuable gift: a Golden Cup bearing the following inscriptions: “Faithfulness and Openness”(Bishop Tarabay’s Motto),“Token of Loyalty” and “From the Maronite Catholic Society”.
Raymond Abi-Arraj



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