Maronite archbishops tends to flock in hills of southern Lebanon

.- Archbishop Chucrallah-Nabil El-Hage, Maronite Catholic Archbishop of Tyr, went into the hills of his war struck archdiocese yesterday, in search of those who have been unable or unwilling to abandon their homes, The Age reported.

His diocese, which includes all of south Lebanon, normally includes about 50,000 Maronite Catholics, the archbishop told a reporter for The Age, “but right now I would be surprised if there are still 10,000.  The rest have all fled the fighting.”

"This is the Holy Land," the archbishop said. "We have a spiritual mission as Christians here to bring peace between Jews and Muslim people. I am coming here to tell the people who have stayed that they are the ones who will bring a new spring. I pray to God that Lebanon may be protected and will continue its mission to the world as a country where different religions and cultures have come together, and not a country of conflict."

In a visit to the mostly Christian village of Ein Ibil, the archbishop encountered an abandoned convent and 20 of his flock still in the town, who rushed to greet him.  

Georgette Kasrooni, 70, threw her arms around him and burst into tears. "They are bombing the road to Rameish. Our children are there," she cried. "What can we do? Where can we go? We have no bread or fuel or power.”

The archbishop sat down at the Suleiman family home, which has been hit several times by Israeli missiles, to hear of their struggles and pray with them.

"My own house was destroyed completely so I came to stay here," said Therese Suleiman, 50, a mother of 12. "There were 30 of us staying here, sleeping in the basement, when the shells hit. So far, grace of God, no one has been killed although seven or eight have been wounded. God is watching over us."

Outside, the bombardment had shifted closer and reached an intensity of one shell every second. Smoke from the explosions slowly filled the valley until the village at the centre of the fighting, Aita al-Shaab, completely disappeared.

As Israeli forces continue to attack Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon in retribution for attacks the Islamic militant group has conducted on their country, much of the international community has called for a cessation in fighting, in order to work things out without the deaths of innocent bystanders.  The Holy Father, on Sunday, renewed his fervent call for prayers for peace and those suffering from the conflict.  He also re-issued a forceful plea for an immediate ceasefire.

In the meantime the archbishop will continue to move among his people, calling them to faith.

Those who remain are thankful for his visits, but beg also for material assistance, "It means a lot that the archbishop came here, but we need a lot of help," Ms Suleiman said. "This is our home and we won't leave, not even now," she said. "Where should we go?"

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: