“After a long spell of prayer, do not say that nothing has been gained, for you have already achieved something. For after all, what higher good is there than to cling to the Lord, to persevere in unceasing union with him?” (Saint John Climacus, Ladder of Love)
Christ is among!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures” (Ps 136:1). Appropriate words for every time and season, and they were the first words in my heart at the writing of this Newsletter.
Many blessings have happened since the last Newsletter was emailed – thanks be to God. These blessings give the DFW Melkite Outreach stability. Stability enables the Outreach to take root and mature, thereby manifesting the Kingdom of God.
THE LATEST UPDATES:
Toward the end of October, Father Chris, the administrator at Saint Basil Ruthenian Parish in Irving, Texas, offered the Outreach use of its sacred temple for regular Melkite Divine Liturgies and its Parish Hall for catechesis and fellowship. Bishop Samra immediately blessed this opportunity.
- Each Sunday, beginning on November 15, the Melkite Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 12:00 P.M. followed by fellowship.
- On the Second and Fourth Fridays of the month the Outreach will celebrate Vespers followed by fellowship and catechesis in the Parish Hall.
- MARK THE CALENDAR: Three upcoming Great liturgical Feasts – all will be celebrated at Saint Basil’s Parish:
- On Saturday, November 21 Divine Liturgy at 10:15 A.M. for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.
- On Wednesday, December 9, Divine Liturgy at 10:00 A.M. the Feast of the Conception of Saint Ann (in the west called the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8).
- On Friday, December 25, Divine Liturgy at 11:00 A.M. for the Feast of the Nativity.
Father Chris grasps the great challenges that confront a fledging Outreach. He, therefore, has asked no fee for the use of the parish’s sacred temple or hall for the next two months. We shall revisit the topic in January.
More good news:
♦ Living in the Metroplex is a Melkite Deacon – Tareq Nasrallah. While he travels for work, he plans to be present and to concelebrate with me each Sunday. Praise God!
♦ Recently Richard Anter, a Melkite Catholic, contacted me. He, his wife and their new baby moved to the Metroplex last December. Richard is a trained Byzantine chanter, who will both chant at the Melkite liturgies but will teach the Outreach the chants! What an incredible Providential gift. Thanks be to God.
♦ Mikhael Naddaf, the son of Marcel and Caridad Naddaf, is a Melkite seminarian completing his final academic year at Saint Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh. He plans to return home around November 24. He is a reader- one of the clerical orders in the Byzantine Church. He is committed to the Outreach and we look forward eagerly to his return soon.
♦ Acknowledgments of profound gratitude:
◊ Bishop Nicholas Samra sent me three Byzantine vestments, the seal used for the holy Eucharist, and an antimension – a cloth placed upon the holy table (altar) necessary for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
◊ Right Reverend Father Raczka, the Protosyncellus of the Eparchy, graciously has sent to the Outreach an Epistle and Gospel book, along with electronic files of other liturgies.
◊ Father Justin Rose, pastor of Saint George Melkite Parish in Birmingham, AL has sent the Outreach two more vestments.
Please join me in giving thanks to God for the abundance of generosity, support and hospitality shown to this Outreach, and please pray for them and their ministries.
♦ The DFW Melkite Outreach on Thursday, November 5, 2020, opened its bank account with Veritex bank.
Conclusion: A public place in which to meet regularly for liturgy, catechesis and fellowship and the establishment of a bank account provide the two necessary pieces for the Outreach to take root, mature toward a parish mission and thus blossom into a parish.
THE NEXT STEPS:
♦ A parish is a common life, aptly called a family. On the one hand, Americanism thrives on rugged individualism and fosters the atomization of society which breeds isolation and alienation. On the other hand, Apostolic Christianity is communitarian, since it is rooted in the common-life of the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, for the Catholic Christian, the practice of the Faith is much more than a me and God relationship. For the domestic church (a Catholic family) it is wholly insufficient and detrimental to one’s baptismal life not to participate regularly and fully in one’s parish life. Baptism incorporates the person into the Church – the Mystical Body of Christ. In concrete terms one’s relationship to the Mystical Body of Christ is through the parish. Thus, the need to take an active part in the life of one’s parish. The fruits of which are: 1) the fulfillment of one’s exalted vocation – divinization; 2) to become an authentic icon of Christ; 3) to mature into an authentic and genuine parish family. Please, therefore, make the Outreach and its Sunday and Friday celebrations a priority.
♦ Consider how your household will be able to support financially the Outreach. In the Old Testament the law was the tithe – ten percent of one’s earnings. In the New Testament, the commandment is selfless love. In other words, there is no measurement to selfless giving. Saint Paul taught: “Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). At present, below is a list of some initial expenses:
◊ Liturgical items
• The printing of booklets for the various liturgical services
• Wine for consecration
• Communion kit for sick visits
◊ Business expenses
• Computer Software – the Eparchy, for example, uses Quickbooks to keep the parish finances.
• Beginning in January, it is only right and just to begin paying a rental fee to Saint Basil for use of its sacred Temple and Hall.
• Basic office supplies – printer ink, paper, etc.
• Purchasing checks and deposits slips
◊ Personal – at present I have no salary or regular income, but rather my father supports me, and I dip into my savings. Please keep in mind the obligation of a community to support its priest! I am solely dependent upon your generosity.
• Mileage reimbursement and wear and tear on the car
• personal items.
◊ Savings – Our ultimate objective is to find our own place for worship, catechesis and fellowship. We want to begin a building fund!
How to give: Soon the DFW Melkite webpage will be able to receive online donations; otherwise, please consider bringing your financial offering to the liturgy on Sundays.
In Christ our God,
Fr. Marc Mallick