Monday, 17 April 2017 11:07

Damascus: Thanks to the religious !

82 female religious from different congregation dedicate themselves modestly and with great discretion to serve the Church in Damascus… without letting others speak about them. With the help of the Spirit they provide a deep power that gives life to the charisms of the Gospel in a country which is torn apart by the war, without getting tired or scared.

1) WITNESS OF FRATERNITY : Some of them live in small communities, in their big old schools which were nationalised in 1968… others in the hospital establishments or in the simple apartments or lodgings in the midst of the people of God where they lead a life of poverty, prayer and praise.

2) LISTENING: These consecrated religious are available to welcome and to listen to these poor people. A first aid mission especially during these years of war and solitude… They store up in their hearts all the sufferings and the concerns of the small people forgotten in misery and incertitude… In front of helplessness, these Consecrated women form with love and tenderness, a Wall of Lamentation while assuring a charitable presence for the impoverished families.

3) FACES OF COMPASSION : the commitment of our Sisters at the service of the families is expressed by their presence in the nurseries, the schools, the dispensaries, the soup kitchens and in the catechism and religious formation centres …. To welcome their heroic mission in the hospital sector and the caring of the sick, many of whom are war casualties, developing a suitable pastoral ministry of the sick and the elderly…

4) FUTURE ASSETS : The Sisters’ pilot mission is still focused on the schools and on the formation of children and youths … Through this pedagogical service they transmit the values of peace, tolerance and dialogue, pledges of rebuilding a destroyed Native Country and of Ecclesial Renewal… In this domain they welcome all forms of psychological support to help those who suffered badly from the war and the youths marked by violence, delinquency and exclusion…

5) HEARTFELT THANKS : Doesn’t this beautiful witness of hidden and unknown light deserve some gratitude and acknowledgement ? Dearest Consecrated Women in Damascus, only the RISEN CHRIST is capable to thank you and to bless you.

Easter 2017

† Samir NASSAR

Maronnite Archbishop of Damascus