Your Eminence and Beatitude Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir;
Your Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali
Bishop Shaheen and my brother Bishops;
Fr. Elie Madi;
Beloved Clergy, Religious, Laity and our Parishes of St. Maron and St. Sharbel in Philadelphia and neighboring Parishes and Missions;
Civic Dignitaries and invited guests;
Brothers and Sisters all in Christ;
The times in which we live are trying times, but our Lord never leaves us orphaned.The Maronite Church, Lebanon and all who believe in standing for truth no matter what the cost, are doing what is right and good even if unappreciated or misinterpreted, in working for and believing in something greater than themselves – such as one’s country, the Church, the Truth of the Gospel – finds in Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir a Gift from Christ Himself sent to shepherd us in His name.
Difficult times call for extraordinary shepherds. The Maronite Catholic Church has such a visionary and strong shepherd in the person of Patriarch Sfeir. His brother Cardinal Justin Rigali here present with us tonight is of the same character. With him and in the name of all here present please join me in welcoming his Eminence and Beatitude Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir and thanking God for him.
+Gregory John Mansour
May 17, 2008
(Reprinted with permission.)