Melkite Greek Catholic Church
43rd Annual Lenten Supper For Orphans & Chronically Ill Children of Lebanon Guest Speaker Nicholas Boke Education and Training Manager for "Teach For Lebanon"
On March 22, 2013, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church will hold their 43rd Lenten Supper in support of Orphans & the Chronically Ill Children at the Chronic Care Center in Lebanon. The Chronic Care Center is a specialized institution for the treatment and follow-up of childhood chronic diseases, like Thalassemia and Insulin Dependent Diabetes. The Center is the result of countless generous efforts. It has succeeded in giving human comfort to a continuously increasing number of children, whose diseases are too hard for them and their families to handle. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a Melkite Catholic Church, established in Worcester in 1923. Its origins can be traced back to the initial church of Antioch, where followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Today, Antioch is in Southern Turkey (1939). After an earthquake destroyed it in the 6th century, the Patriarchate of Antioch was moved to, and is still residing in, Syria. For over 40 years, the parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Worcester, MA, have served this meal of charity. Father Charles Aboody, a Worcester native, first arranged for the proceeds to be sent to Lebanon to help children in orphanages. The Aboody and Halal families, and many other families who grew up on Grafton Hill, contributed to the planning and preparing of this “meal of mercy”. All ingredients and labor are donated, so 100% of all contributions are received by the orphanages and the Chronic Care Center in Lebanon. This year’s menu includes an appetizer platter of hummus, stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush (eggplant puree), and vegetables. The entrée will be baked cod with bread crumbs, served with rice pilaf and green beans in a tomato sauce. That will be followed by a sweet treat of macaroons with walnuts. In observance of fasting during Lent, all products will be made without meat or dairy. The guest speaker will be Nicholas Boke, Education and Training Manager for “Teach For Lebanon” of Beirut, Lebanon. Mr. Boke has spent more than 40 years working in education. He has taught on the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels, as well as engaging in a wide range of other education-related activities. He founded and directed the Vermont Strategic Reading Initiative, developed radio-based primary grades instruction for several sub-Saharan African countries, developed early literacy programs for an American NGO, and has been published in such journals as Education Week, Principal Leadership, Independent School and Private School Quarterly, as well as editing The Record: The Education Newspaper of Northern New England. His book, Reading to Learn: A Classroom Guide to Strategic Reading, was published by the Vermont Department of Education. In Lebanon, he has developed a family literacy program currently being used in Bourj al Barajneh Palestinian Refugee Camp, offered trainings in Student-centered learning for Amideast, and developed an Action Research Program for Teach for Lebanon Fellows. He earned a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in History from the University of Virginia, and has studied education at Marshall University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Christians of all denominations should enjoy his talk. Dinner begins at 7:00pm. Reservations are required. A $20 donation for the meal and any additional free will offerings/donations will be greatly appreciated. Please make checks payable to: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 256 Hamilton St. Worcester, 01064. For forms and more information, contact Joe Najemy at (508) 752-4174 or (774) 239- 2393, or go to the events page. Note: This event is preceded by Vespers for Lazarus at 6:00pm in the church. All are welcome to participate.

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith reading the Bishop's decree (photo credit: Cary O'Keeffe)

In the summer of 2011 the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas Samra, in anticipation of his enthronement as Bishop of Newton, asked Rev. Brendan McAnerney, OP if he would accept an appointment as Pastor of St. George Church in Sacramento, California. As a Dominican friar, Fr. Brendan had first to receive permission from His Prior Provincial, the Very Rev. Roberto Corral, OP. At a meeting in Oakland in late July he received that permission after which Bishop Nicholas and Fr. Roberto exchanged letters. On August 29, Bishop Nicholas wrote a Decree of Appointment, installing Fr. Brendan as Pastor effective October 17, 2011. The Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, Protopresbyter for the Western region of the Eparchy, officially read the decree to the congregation on Sunday, November 6, 2011. Fr. Brendan is a Dominican priest of the Western Dominican Province of the Holy Name of Jesus. He has enjoyed faculties to serve as a Greek Catholic priest since 1997, and has been in residence at St. George Church in Sacramento since 2001. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and has managed a ministry entitled DominICON, a ministry to Roman Catholic and Protestant parishes, schools and other Christian institutions to expand and enhance the appreciation of holy icons, sacred images in the Byzantine tradition.
In October 2011, after 20 years at St. George Church in Sacramento, California, Father Mark Melone became the new pastor at St. Joseph in Laurence, Massachusetts. His calm, steadfast dedication to the Eastern Christian liturgical cycle in all its fullness left a lasting legacy of worship for both parishioners and newly-installed pastor Father Brendan McAnerney, in whose capable hands the parish now rests. Father Mark’s focus on the Divine Liturgy as the center of the parish’s community life established long-term stability at St. George. His focus served as an anchor through a major church and rectory remodel in the mid-90’s, and several years later a complete hall remodel. “Everything starts here,” Father Mark said as he pointed to the altar. He showed through his words and actions that spiritual growth cannot take place without conscientious and constant participation in church services. To paraphrase his welcome message in St. George’s 25th anniversary book: “What I see every time I serve the Holy Liturgy are not only holy icons on the walls, but living icons trying to be holy.” Many of the holy icons hanging on St. George’s church walls were written by Father Mark. His talents as an iconographer provide tangible evidence of his devotion as well as enable parishioners to demonstrate their own devotions by venerating specific saints. The holiness of the church’s interior stems, too, from the images he painted on the church’s walls and ceilings. Father Mark’s iconography remains a visible reminder of the abiding spiritual and artistic legacy of his many years at St. George.

Fr. Mark with the St. George community after Divine Liturgy (Photo: Fares Photography)

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