"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Treating people equally and caring for others, particularly the unwell or disadvantaged, were amongst Jesus' principal tenets. The biblical stories pertaining to Jesus' interactions with lepers, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritans attest to that. Our Parish, like numerous local organizations and individuals throughout Halifax, aims to give back to society. That goal is of particular importance to members of Saint Antonios and our sister Church Our Lady of Lebanon, many of whom sought refuge and a new life in this welcoming country. Admittedly, our efforts often seem insufficient and we're always striving to improve. Moreover, we humbly recognize that philanthropy is an endeavour that warms the hearts of both the donor and recipient. We are thus thankful to partner with the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, the Phoenix house, Feed Nova Scotia, and other organizations, who work tirelessly to help the broader community.
In 2014, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and St. Antonios partnered to raise awarness during the annual Lebanese-Canadian festival. Vanessa Nasrallah and Anthony Saikali discussed the effort with H. Petracek on CTV (video clip above). Sadly, Vanessa lost her brother to lymphoma/leukemia in 2013, and numerous Parishoners at Saint Antonios have likewise been impacted by cancer.
Leukemia and lymphoma are certainly pernicious, with the former being a cancer that emerges in the bone marrow, and the latter being endemic to the lymphatic system. Approximately 10% of all cancers fall into the aforementioned groups. Those desiring to donate to LLS can visit their website, or you can follow their Light the Night Walk campaign. Countless members of the local community (e.g., Mayor Savage) supported the effort, and we hope that the 2015 iniative will likewise be a success.
Saint Antonios is elated to partner with the Phoenix Youth organization for an annual holiday season meal. The effort is spearheaded by our Teen SOYO and Fellowship organizations. Phoenix Youth is a well-known non-profit located in Halifax. The group's principal objective is to help youths aged between 11 and 24, namely by providing services ranging from: food and shelter, opportunities for personal development, counseling and advocacy, employment and learning assistance, parent support, therapeutic recreation, outreach services, medical support, etc. Phoenix is open to people from all walks of life.
“Having Saint Antonio’s support made it possible for staff to connect with youth in a setting that is relaxing and fun, which often helps to build positive relationships moving forward. Warmth and laughter filled the room. It really was wonderful ... we extend our heartfelt thanks ... for their continued friendship.” noted the organization and M. Poirier, Acting Coordinator at Phoenix Centre for Youth. It is a partnership that continues to warm the hearts of both communities.
Open Doors Halifax is an event which aims to enhance the public's knowledge of local heritage, history, and environment. In 2014, Saint Antonios joined the effort and opened its doors during the June 7th weekend. Approximately 650 people visited the site, and there was a wonderful turnout by former Anglican members of Saint Matthias, whose enthusiasm was contagious. We were also elated that local historian Blair Beed stopped by, and provided important insight concerning the Church during the 1917 Halifax Explosion.
The tour began in the Saint Antonios-Matthias Community and Cultural Centre, and ended in the renovated Church. The tour emphasized the long legacy of Saint Matthias Parish, which began 130+ years ago (c1882). The Teen SOYO, Fellowship, and Antiochian Women (e.g., Mayssoune Lawen) executed the event, and we were happy that their effort ended up on Metronews' frontpage.
Michel Hanna ringing the Church's bells for 2017 doors open visitors.
For the 2016 Lebanese Festival, the team made available FAITH, SQUAD GOALS and BAE-RUT shirts. All proceeds were destined to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of Nova Scotians living with mental illness and their loved ones.
The IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) offers aid and development programs to those in need, and enables the Orthodox Church to respond as a group. IOCC helps represent Orthodox Christians across North America.
The IOCC organization aims to intervene without discrimination, and help those affected to improve their lives and communities.
The work of the IOCC is described at http://www.iocc.org/ .
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10 Mar 2016 at 10:00pm
Emergency Medical Aid Fills Need for Care of Syrians
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IOCC Responds To Communities in Missouri Deluged By Destructive Floods
12 Jan 2016 at 12:40am
The Lebanese Chamber, which was founded by members of Saint Antonios Parishioners and our Maronite family at our Lady of Lebanon, will be awarding scholarships to encourage our community's youth and foster education. For additional information concerning this exciting partnership with Saint Mary’s University visit: https://www.lebanesechamber.ca/programs/scholarships/ . Applications must be received by July 31st.
Feed Nova Scotia helps nourish individuals by collecting and distributing food to more than 150 food banks and meal programs. The organization likewise strives to eliminate the sources of poverty through research and support programs.
Feed Nova Scotia is a well-known local charity with years of experience giving back to the community. For further information we encourage you to visit their website at http://www.feednovascotia.ca .
Saint Antonios Parish was recognized for the construction and opening of a new Church and preserving the honour of the existing Saint Matthias Church, and the local spiritual and economic impact that occurred as a result. The Parish's Jacqueline Nasrallah attended a ceremony held by the Honourable Minister Lena Diab, where she received a statement declaring Saint Antonios was recognized in the legistature of Nova Scotia.
Project Mexico aims to build homes for income challenged families, and also to provide housing for orphaned boys through the Saint Innocent Orphanage.
Project Mexico and Saint Innocent Orphanage also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in missions, with the end objective of fostering hope in Mexico by helping individuals facing adversity.
Those desiring to donate to Project Mexico and Saint Innocent Orphanage can visit their website.