On Sunday, 25th November 2007, the newest book on Patriarch Estephan Douaihy, "Patriarch Estephan Douaihy, from the Heights of Ehden to the Heights of Sanctity” by Jamil and Rouba Douaihy, was launched in Australia under the auspices of the Maronite Bishop of Australia, Bishop Ad Abikaram and the Association of Zgharta (Youssef Bey Karam, Batal Lebnan) Australia.
The day began with a church service celebrated by Bishop Ad Abikaram at Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Harris Park, Sydney, attended by the Antiochian Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop of Australia and New Zealand, Paul Saliba and members of the clergy and sisters. Those also attending included: Laure Sleiman Saab, representing Lebanon’s Ministry for Information; Australian Member of Parliament, David Borger ,representing NSW Premier Morris Iemma; Senator David Clark representing opposition leader Barry O’Farrell; Member of Parliament Thomas George; Member of justice Committee Mary Vekara and husband; Dr Allan Karalis, Deputy Parramatta Mayor Pierre Esber; Sarkis Maksisi, President of the Association; Sarkis Jlailaty, Chairman of the Association; Association Executive Committee members; Joe Khatar, President of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce; Antoine Harbie, President of the Association of Zgharta-Melbourne; Joe Peter Khoury, President of the Maronite Catholic Society; Michel Douaihy, WLCU Congress Chair; Antoine Saad, ALA president; George Lawlash, President of the Hadchit Association; Tony Boumelhem,President of El el Marada Australia; Antoine Kazzi, Editor of El Telegraph; Anwar Harb, Editor of An Nahar; Boutros Indari, Editor of Al Anwar; journalist Badawi al- Haj of the Future newspaper; writers, Dr Joe Azizi and Sarkis Karam; Maroun Trad, poet; former Association Presidents: Sleiman Saadeh, Boutros Wakim and Joseph Finianos; former Zgharta Ladies Committee President, Mary Karam; Tadros Nader, Ibrahim Douaihy, Saeed Karam, and members of the community.
Archbishop Saliba delivered a sermon about the sanctity of Patriarch Douaihy.
Following the service, the book launch was held at the church’s hall. Speakers included: Lawyer Rimon Mouawad , who spoke on behalf of the Association, Bishop Ad Abikaram, Father Antoine Torbay, Laure Sleiman Saab, Anwar Harb, Antoine Kazzi, Father Sleiman Yammine, Maroun Trad, Boutros Indari, Badawi al-Haj and Sarkis Karam.
The sponsors of the book and launch are: Tony Boumelhem, Ibrahim Douaihy, Michel Douaihy, Sarkis Jlailaty and Tadros Nader.
The President of the Association, Sarkis Maksisi, presented commemorative shields and medals to Bishop Abikaram, sponsors, members of the Executive Committee and speakers.
There is a further launch of the book on Sunday, 2nd December, in Melboune.
The message sent by Bishop Samir Mazloum apppears below.
Patriarch Estefan Douaihy Foundation
Mr Sarkis Maksisi, President of the Association of Zgharta (Youssef Bey Karam Batal Lebnan) and members of the executive committee,
Greetings of the Lord Jesus,
It gave me great pleasure to learn that your successful association is undertaking numerous activities to bring the community closer and spread within its members the constructive Lebanese spirit while maintaining loyalty to your new hospitable country which you have served with noted dedication.
You have published a book about the life of Patriarch Estefan Douaihy who is one of the greatest patriarchs of the Maronite Church and was a renowned scholar who led a sanctified life and dedicated his work to organise the parish and the Church. You will be distributing the book on Sunday 25 November 2007. You have also organised previous fundraisers and sent us the funds collected to back the canonisation case of Patriarch Douaihy. We are pleased to inform you that the case has made notable progress and hopefully the Patriarch will be declared Blessed in coming months.
On behalf of the Patriarch Estefan Douaihy Foundation and Ehden-Zgharta Parish, I take this opportunity to express my thanks for all that what you have achieved since we assigned your association as official representative to our foundation and for the generous donation that you have handed to us. I also wish all of you the best of health and success.
I would also like to extend special thanks to my brother His Lordship Ad Abikaram who has cared for his parish members with affection and has always encouraged your religious, cultural and community activities, asking the Lord to bless his work and grant him the strength and courage to continue his noble mission, as well as his priests, monks, sisters and community members so that the Parish reaps more success and progress.
As I reiterate our thanks to you, your friends and contributors, we ask God to grant all of you his fatherly blessing.
Bkirki 20 November 2007
Bishop Samir Mazloum Vicar General Patriarchal of Zgharta –Ehden
President of Patriarch Estefan Douaihy Foundation
Photographs of the church service and book launch can be seen from the Galleria - Postcards- Australia - Book Launch 25 11 2007
On things Australian, the Ehden Zgharta Parish has announced that Fr. Joseph Mouawad is organising a Parish trip to the 11th World Youth Day in Sydney, to be attended by Pope Benedict XVI in July. The estimated cost is $2000, for further details contact the Father at the Priest's House, Zgharta. The event was first started by Pope John Paul II two decades ago, and has become an important event for the Church to rally young Catholics. Pope Benedict will attend the week-long event of prayer, celebration and religious instruction to be held at Sydney's Olympic Park, from 15th to 20th July 2008. The event has its own website at www.wyd2008.org