The Maronite Eparchy rounded off the celebrations of its 50-year anniversary with the Golden Jubilee Mass at Ken Rosewall Arena on Sunday 24 September, celebrated by His Beatitude and Eminence Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and concelebrated by His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, His Excellency Habib Chamieh, Bishop of the Maronite Eparchy of San Charbel in Buenos Aires, Monsignor Marcelino Youssef, Vicar-General and Monsignor Shora Maree, Episcopal Vicar for Youth, The Maronite Eparchy of Australia.
Over 7000 Maronites were in attendance at the Mass, along with the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Charles Balvo, The Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Maronite Bishops of Eparchies outside the Patriarchal Territory and General Superiors of Maronite Religious Orders, Bishops of the Eastern Churches and Maronite Clergy.
The Mass was a historic occasion for the Maronite community, who were united in prayer, renewing the spirit of community and praying for the Eparchy and Maronites all across the world, particularly in Lebanon.
Despite taking place in an arena, the Mass was reverent and truly special. The congregation actively prayed and participated in the Divine Liturgy, which was filled with the Holy Spirit and a true blessing to all present.
Following the Mass, many members of the congregation expressed how profound and special this occasion had been; and a true once in a lifetime experience. Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony Fisher congratulated the Maronite Eparchy on its Jubilee, ahead of concluding prayers, acknowledging the Maronites as a “strength” to the Catholic Church in Australia.
The Maronite Eparchy is grateful for all those involved in the organisation of the Mass – Fr Danny Nouh, all parish clergy and staff who played a part, the Maronite Eparchial Choir led by Fr Youssef Elias, more than 110 volunteers and teams behind the scenes including Mr Charbel Taouk for designing the altar so beautifully, and truly contributing to the transformation of Ken Rosewall Arena into a holy space, and Ms Ruba Jaajaa for her production coordination.