Following his arrival in Australia, His Beatitude and Eminence Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, started his visit with the Maronite community in Melbourne.
His Beatitude was welcomed with a community dinner at the Maron Hall in Our Lady of Lebanon, Thornbury on Saturday 16 September. Clergy, parishioners and members of the Victorian Maronite community were present at the dinner, along with His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay.
The dinner was followed by a Solemn Mass at Our Lady of Lebanon, Thornbury on Sunday 17 September, which was led by our Patriarch. The Mass, attended by parish groups and other members of the community, was concelebrated by Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Most Reverend Archbishop Paul Nabih El-Sayyah, Monsignor Joe Takchi and Father Richard Jabour. They were joined by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Reverend Peter Commensoli and Auxiliary Bishop Tony Ireland.
Prior to concluding his visit to Melbourne, our Patriarch visited Antonine College in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, where he was joined by Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Archbishop Paul Nabil El-Sayyah, Monsignor Joe Takchi, Father Richard Jabour, Father Charles Hitti and Father Johnny Saba. Rev Mother Nazha El Khoury, Superior General of the Antonine Sisters Maronite Order, beautifully highlighted how the occasion was a divine blessing, aligning perfectly with the Golden Jubilee of our Maronite Eparchy.
His Beatitude left Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, arriving in Sydney for thanksgiving prayers at St Maroun’s Cathedral, Redfern.
His Beatitude will be in Sydney until 24 September, when he will lead the Golden Jubilee Mass at Ken Rosewall Arena.