A Virtual CMYC, Lockdown Edition: “For nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37
Due to the pandemic, the CMYC annual meeting that was initially scheduled to take place in Vancouver has been postponed for a second year in a row.
Despite the lockdowns and curfews that placed an end to any initiative of making it a possibility, the leaders and youth of all Melkite parishes in Canada, in their usual enthusiasm and mutual support, found a way to keep their meetings in a spirit of joy and celebration.
Reunion, laughter, games animated by the guardian angels (St-Sauveur Melkite Youth Committee), music by DJ Roy and dancing were the spirit of the weekend on April 9th and 10th, 2021 via the zoom platform. As well as spiritual topics and exchanges with the ever faithful presence of Fr. Rabih Abou Zgheib, Fr. Antoine Semaan, Fr. Bernard Bassett, Fr. Ragi Saleh, Fr. Gérard Abi Saad, Mgr Makarios Wehbi, the sub-deacon Shadi Freiha and of course Sister Jacky Abinassif.
Under the roof of the Greek-Melkite Eparchy of Canada, many young adults, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit, are learning to become apostle-missionaries, living witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. With their eyes set on the future, they excel forward with utmost trust in their Lord Jesus Christ. When one Spirit unites them, they all become One in Christ. Then nothing matters, neither time, nor distance, nor circumstances, their limit becomes heaven and “Together they work miracles”.
The meeting took place with the blessing and presence of H.E. Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, Eparchial Bishop of the Greek-Melkite Catholics of Canada and founder of the CMYC. For him, young people must be at the forefront of the Church’s mission. He never fails to assist them in their events and works in collaboration with the leaders to offer them an environment and opportunities conducive to the development of their spirituality. Monsignor insists that the future of the Church is in the hands of the youth. She provides them with care, but more importantly, they must take care of her. According to him, the vision of the future is as Saint Augustine proposes to us, “We become what we contemplate”. Contemplating Christ and bearing witness to him becomes a mission of the young Christian in a world like the one today.
Driven by an ever-growing need to offer the best, and touched by the enthusiasm, energy and zeal of young people, Bishop Ibrahim founded the Canadian Melkite Youth Association, CMYA, last December 2020. The goal of this diocesan office is to provide resources, support and training for all youth mission leaders in order to create and strengthen links between all parishes in Canada.
Father Simon Eshhaki of St. Michael’s Chaldean Church, located in San Diego, California, was also warmly welcomed on the second day of the convention to expand on the theme of witnesses to Christ. In his personal experience, evil is never far away, looking for opportunities in our vulnerabilities to fall. Prayer remains the only weapon against temptation. Questions of spirituality as well as social nature were addressed to Father Eshhaki by the youth, to which he did not fail to answer each of them with skills and openness.
The person in charge of the virtual CMYC movement and director of the CMYA association, Mrs. Fairouz Hanna had prepared this very distinct program with the collaboration of the members of the CMYA: Father Rabih Abou Zgheib (chaplain), Sister Jacky Abinassif, Sally Yacoub, Rachel Alberni, Elias Al Haddad, Tarek Marroushi, Lina Khoury, Karen Sueidan and Nicolas Haddad.
The evening ended blissfully with the hope of meeting again very soon for the glory of God.