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Dear friends,
 
I would like to share with you how wonderful it has been to see more parishioners coming back to church and worshipping together.  Some of you I have not seen in quite some time and others I am meeting for the first time.  Thank you for making the effort to be at church!   I have heard some say, “Abouna, I’m not there but I send my envelope!”  Thank you for your support but to be frank, I don’t worry about your envelope, you love your church, and you support your church.  More importantly, I want to see you and your family in church so we can pray together. 
 
With the school year coming to an end and summer being right around the corner, I want to invite you to continue to make church and coming to pray at St. Maron as a family a priority.  A reminder we have weekend liturgies on Saturday at 4:30 pm and Sunday at 8:30 am & 10:00 am.  Many of us wait for summer to go on vacation and this summer will be no different just remember our spiritual life is always with us, even on vacation.  If we are not here to come to our home parish, please make sure to find a parish to attend the Divine Liturgy wherever you may be.  Let’s not use the excuse of being on vacation from work or school also means being on a vacation from God, our Father, and being with Him in His house.  We can always make time for God.  A great resource to find a church when away is www.masstimes.org
 
Every once in a while, it’s good to be reminded that participating in Divine Liturgy and worshipping our Lord is a sacred event and more important than any other activity we do in our lives.  We receive Jesus Christ fully in Holy Communion.  Sometimes we have allowed the reverence that should be afforded to God and our church to be diminished in our contemporary culture.  I need your help to work towards creating and sustaining an atmosphere that honors our Father and the purpose of our church, giving the proper reverence and respect to Him and to each other. 
 
As the summer arrives and the temperature warms up, we do have air conditioning in the church, and we happily use it :-).  One aspect of reverence in the church that I invite us all to consider, especially in these summer months, is what we wear to church and ask is it a true reflection of our heart and our attitude towards God?  If so, then, by all means, keep doing it.  If not, maybe we are being invited to reconsider our church attire.  God will honor us for it. 
 
We know our Lord always looks to the heart of His people and St. Paul reminds us in Romans 12:1: “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Let us remember to present our whole self, inside and out, honorably to the Lord and know whether near or far, He is with us and we take the time and make the effort to honor and glorify Him. 
 
God bless you always,
 
Fr. Tony Massad
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St Maron Church · 1555 S Meridian Rd · Youngstown, OH 44511-1140 · USA

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