Organizations within the Eparchy of Saint Maron
The National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) is the official apostolate of the laity sanctioned by the Eparchy of Saint Maron and the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.
Since its inception in 1963, NAM’s goal has continued to be one of service to the Maronite Church and its people. NAM’s basic purpose is to serve the Maronite clergy and laity of the United States. NAM does this by continually working to unify the laity and being a common link between the laity and clergy. It also helps preserve the Syriac-Maronite tradition in several ways: by making people more aware of our rich heritage, by fostering pride in our church and by strengthening it for future generations.
The National Apostolate of Maronites operates according to a constitution approved by the Eparchial Bishops of Saint Maron and Our Lady of Lebanon.
To support these purposes, NAM sponsors and coordinates numerous programs which are financed through memberships and the national convention profits, and NAM’s annual spring raffle.
Some of these programs include:
- Supporting the Maronite Youth Organization (MYO)
Since the future of the Maronite Church is the youth, NAM contributes financial and human resources to the MYO. This group is so important to NAM that a Young Adult Coordinator sits on the Board.
- NAM Scholarship Fund
The Scholarship Fund is NAM’s further commitment to our youth. Each year NAM awards scholarships to eligible MYO members. This fund is supported by NAM through private donations from individuals and businesses.
- Religious Education
The teaching of our Catholic faith is very critical to our future. Many of NAM’s members contribute their services to the teaching of our youth and adults through the Maronite Christian Foundation (MCF) program. NAM provides Catechetical and other Educational workshops at all Conventions. In addition, NAM offers financial and professional assistance for special educational projects.
- Vocation Awareness Program
One of the most critical concerns of Maronites in the United States is the need for religious vocations. As part of this awareness program, NAM has conducted a vocation survey, published prayer cards and annually sponsors the Vocation Awareness Essay and Poster Contest for the MCF students. The creative endeavors judged the best from this contest are awarded prizes.
- Annual Retreat
Being an apostolate, NAM is sponsoring regional retreat weekends, to encourage spiritual awareness and renewal.
- National Convention
NAM’s major undertaking is the National Convention, which is held annually in different geographic locations. These Conventions have become a significant time for friends and family to gather for spiritual renewal, education and socializing.
- Regional Conventions
NAM holds regional conventions throughout the United States. These meetings allow people who cannot attend the National Convention an opportunity to share the camaraderie of other Maronites and benefit from the overall agenda.
- Massabki Awards
The highest honors bestowed on a NAM member are the Silver and Gold Massabki awards which are presented annually. These awards, named after three martyred Maronite Brothers who refused to renounce their faith, are presented to members of the Maronite Church who have contributed time, talent and treasure on a parish, regional or national level. The Silver Massabki Medal is awarded at the parish level to an individual or couple. The Gold Massabki Medal is awarded at the National Convention.
- NAM National Choir
The choir is an example of NAM gathering people from throughout the United States for the common good. During the National Convention, members sing and learn while serving the Divine Liturgies.
Recently NAM undertook additional programs such as The Cedar Tree Reforestation Program in Lebanon and the Faith of the Mountain Award.
The order of Saint Sharbel, established in 1980, is an organization of lay people and clergy who have pledged their spiritual strength and financial support to the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.
The overall objective of the Order of Saint Sharbel is to strengthen and promote the growth of the Maronite Church in the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn by means of financial assistance.
The first objective is to direct financial assistance towards educating the seminarians of Our Eparchy. Expenses include the tuition of the seminarians and the daily operation of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, DC.
When it will be possible the second objective is to provide additional benefits to our retired clergy in order for them to live with dignity and make it easier for them to share the wisdom of their years.
One way in sharing in the Order’s objectives is to become a member. There are two forms of membership annual and perpetual. In either case, to fulfill your membership, an individual can choose to pay in one lump sum or quarterly in one year. All billing comes from the Chancery Office and is paid to the Chancery.
- Annual Membership
An Annual Member is one who pledges to donate $500.00 annually or four equal installments of $125.00 yearly (yearly membership starts from the month you join).
- Perpetual Membership
A Perpetual member is one who makes a one-time donation of $5,000 to the Order’s Trust Fund. Perpetual members can choose to make four equal installments over a one year period.
Additional Ways of Participating
- Matching Gift Programs
Many corporations have matching gift programs. The Order of Saint Sharbel qualifies as a recipient of a matching gift. A donation can be multiplied by taking advantage of this opportunity.
- Gifts of Mourning, Tribute and Friendship
A beautiful tribute to a departed loved one is to request donations to the Order of Saint Sharbel Trust Fund instead of flowers or other material gifts. All donations are tax deductible.
Activities of the Order
- Annual Meetings
The Order holds one formal meeting each year at the NAM national convention in the summer. Attendance is optional, but members are encouraged to meet with others who share the objectives of the Order.
- Bishop’s Honor Guard
The Order of Saint Sharbel has the privilege and duty of being the Eparchial Bishop’s Honor Guard. At functions presided over by the Bishop, members are encouraged to wear the Cross of the Order of Saint Sharbel and to form an honor guard during the Bishop’s entry.