The Order of St. Sharbel Provides Assistance to the Maronite Seminary in the U.S.
The Order of Saint Sharbel is a national organization of people who have pledged their spiritual strength and financial support for the Maronite Seminary of Our Lady of Lebanon, seminarians and retired clergy of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.
The overall objectives of the Order of Saint Sharbel are to promote the growth, strengthen the presence, and preserve the traditions of the Maronite Church in the U.S. by:
- Primarily providing financial assistance toward educating the seminarians of both Eparchies. This assistance includes tuition and all operating costs of our seminary.
- Secondly, providing, when possible, additional retirement benefits to our retired clergy.
"Glory to the Father, adoration to the Son, and thanksgiving to the Spirit. May our prayers ascend to the exalted throne of the Godhead."
"Confirm, O Lord, your faithful people within your churches and grant them the priesthood, true doctrine of faith, and monastic life."
Why Should I become a Member?
The life of St. Sharbel was one of teacher and total sacrifice to God for the welfare of this people. In recognition of St. Sharbel's life, the Order offers their memberships to the service of God through the seminary. Since it was established in 1961, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary has consistently prepared men for the Maronite priesthood in his country. This Maronite training is very important. In order to train seminarians in the ways of the Church, it is important to instruct them at the Maronite Seminary.
The gifts of God multiply in the giving. Love, the prime gift of God, is exercies by giving. Recall the Gospel of John, 6:5-9, telling of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. What little we give away multiplies. We were entrusted by Christ with a mission to:
- proclaim the Gopsel
- worship the Trinity, and
- care for one another
Order of Saint Sharbel Mission Statement
The Order of Saint Sharbel is a national organization of people who have pledged their spiritual support for the seminary of our Lady of Lebanon, seminarians and retired clergy of the Eparchy of Saint Maron and the Eparchy of our Lady of Lebanon. This organization is compromised of two chapters which act under the leadership of the local Bishop.
Strengthening the Maronite Faith
The training and discipline involved in educating a Maronite priest is a critical and important undertaking in the United States. With each seminarian ordained into the ranks of the priesthood, one more Maronite community is started, or an established community receives renewed vitality. Each candidate for the priesthood must be properly instructed and prepared for the task. At Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C., men from both Eparchies receive proper training for service to the parishes in the United States. It is the only Maronite Seminary established outside of Lebanon and is at the disposal of both Eparchies. To preserve and expand the Seminary, the Order of St. Sharbel was started in 1980. The importance of the Order of St. Sharbel can best be summarized as follows:
The Order of St. Sharbel has a unique and indispensable role in the preparation of men for the Maronite priesthood in the United States. Their manifest concern for the welfare of our seminarians provides great moral support and encouragement for these young men as they seek to pursue God's call. Without the generosity of the Order in supplying financial and material assitance, the success of our seminary program would be seriously imperiled. The members of the Order should take great pride in the intimate role they play in giving the Church priests for God's service.
Chorbishop Seely Beggiani
Rector, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary
Activities of the Order of St. Sharbel
The order holds one formal meeting each year at the Maronite 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 Bishops' Honor Guard. At functions presided over by the Bishops, members are encouraged to wear the Cross of the Order of Saint Sharbel and to form an honor guard during the Bishop's entry.
Additional Ways of Participating
The Order of Saint Sharbel enourages all those who embrace the Order's objectives to join in meeting those objectives, even if you do not become a member.
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 Saint Sharbel Trust Fund instead of flowers or other material gifts.
One way of sharing in the Order's objectives is to become a member. Anyone who wishes to support the Order and its objectives of education and financial support to the clergy can apply for membership. The candidate fills out the membership form and submits it to the Eparchy of his/her chose. Once selected to join, the Bishop or his representative will install the individual into the Order during the Divine Liturgy in the parish or region.
Forms of Membership
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 your pre-selected Chancery and is paid to that Chancery.
To be an annual member, and individual must pledge to donate $500 annually or four equal installments of $125 yearly.
To become a perpetual member, an individual must make a one-time donation of $5,000 to the Order's Trust Fund. Or members can choose to make four equal installments of $1,250 over a one year period.
All donations are tax deductible.