Patriarch Sfeir’s Speech in our Church following the Zi'eh el Maryam Adra
Monday, March 12, 2001
I have heard a lot about Easton, and the people of Kfarsghab. I had tried to come to you during my first visit to the United States of America, twelve years ago, but the circumstances did not permit. Here I am today, with you, and among you, although for a few hours. I have come to see you, your attachment to your faith in God, your love for Kfarsghab and your homeland, Lebanon, as you love Easton and your second country, the United States of America. Be faithful to them, act accordingly with their traditions, abide by their laws, and contribute to their upbuilding and prosperity.
The Kfarsghabiyi are known, wherever they have settled, here and especially in Australia, for their love for one another, cooperation and solidarity. Should anyone of them fall down, they all hasten to raise him up. Should he be in a difficult situation, they all come to his assistance. This is a good quality that you should keep, all the more it is one of the important elements of your identity.
I do appreciate your attachment to your country of origin and village, to the extent that the residents and immigrants keep constantly posted on the situation of one another. No sooner does one of you get married in Lebanon, that the immigrants participate in his joy. No sooner one of you returns to the Father, that you all pray for the repose of his soul, on the specified time of the memorial overseas, as well as in Kfarsghab or Morh (Kfarsghab). Never did long distance or oceans separate you, and this is what we want to congratulate you on, as you are keeping the family bonds in days that the family is dispersed in Western societies. The children no longer know their parents, nor do parents know their children. And this is very wrong. This is why the Church is still emphasizing family ties, respect for human life from its conception until the return to the Lord.
I thank you for receiving me and those who are accompanying me. We hope that you abide by the directives of His Excellency, Bishop Stephen Hector Doueihi, your Eparch, and the exhortation of your pastor, our son Father Sami Hayek.
My God bestow upon you all his blessings and divine graces.