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Viviane Nader Sebrini
The Lord has indicated to me to follow new missionary paths, which will become clearer step by step...
As if they were signs of the times, the development of events and their sequence, nothing is by chance, because the Lord uses our experiences and our abilities, however small they may be. What is essential is our attitude in the face of trials; we have to listen to his voice amidst the noise of daily challenges and dare to respond to his call; “let it be done to us according to your word.”
The five foundational stages
The Women's Committee for the Apostolate of the Laity organised a Basic Formation in the service of the institution of Women's Pastoral Committee in the Catholic dioceses of Lebanon.
Then our bishop, the Patriarchal Vicar of the Jounieh region, H.E. Mgr. Antoine Nabil Andari, sent me to take part in it, on Friday 9 March 2009.
Our partnership with the Office of Women's Pastoral Care in the Departments of the Maronite Patriarchate, established at the beginning of the reign of His Beatitude Patriarch Bechara el Rai (Inaugural Mass, 7 March 2012).
Our first encounter with WUCWO in Jordan, after accepting the invitation extended to us by His Excellency Nuncio Gabriel Caccia to the conference “Women of Faith in the Family Service of Dignity and the Common Good” (24-27 November 2013).
The establishment of the central committee, a group of elite women committed to the service of the Church and the common good.
The “send away” Mass on Saturday 25 April 2015: To the place of work in our parishes, our diocese, our country and the world. Under the guidance of our Ecclesiastical Assistant, Rev. Fr Bechara Sebrini.
Hand in hand, as women, young women, mothers and grandmothers, consecrated and lay, we face new challenges in our personal and family agendas, and in all our places of commitment.... Armed with prayer, enlightened by the gaze of faith, so that, as mothers who watch over the future of different generations, we analyse and understand the causes of these challenges, seeking to find norms and principles to which we can refer to guide our thinking and action, to propose scientific, procedural and practical solutions, without forgetting our fidelity to the teaching of the social doctrine of our holy Church. These are the first steps that have established the direct framework which we have adopted in the definition of our Rules of Procedure.
The Lord has blessed us with friends who are as valuable as they are eminent, and we will not forget their merits in order to advance along clear paths in the service of the Church and the common good.
We have focused our action on the main axes, and we have tried to raise awareness of the issues that affect the structure of our families and society.
Thus, at the dialogue tables we have tackled several topics, the most important of which are as follows:
- Developing and maturing the concepts of consolidating the contribution of women in the Church and society.
- Consolidating equality and partnership between men and women in everything that affects their spiritual, family and community life.
- Immunisation of women through knowledge, values and morals...
- Promoting the revolution of love and tenderness, strengthening the capacity and competence of women to maintain harmony and the potential of forgiveness as a leaven of redemption.
- Sensitisation to the culture of respect, solidarity and fraternity.
- Transfer of faith and initiation to values.
- Motherhood and the protection of life.
- Preparation of children for life's difficulties.
- Communication between family members/domestic violence/child abuse…
- Framing digital conversion and its positive and negative impact on children.
We have provided spaces for spiritual retreat, meditation, reflection, awareness raising on emerging and sustainable issues, through “sanctifying oneself to sanctify the world.” When the time of difficulties, of stolen dreams, of the “years of drought” (Genesis 41:30) came, we tried to safeguard our steadfastness in the midst of the crisis and decided to take care of all the people the Lord entrusted to us and for whom we are responsible.
It is a time of mini-works which, taken together, can contribute to resilience. Therefore, let us stand up, because we are all convinced that we are under Mary's gaze, and that she will tell the Lord Jesus that “they have no wine” (John 2:3) and will refill our jars, and we will once again enjoy the feast…