Archive | June, 2013

after Mass the Mass Ordination

24 Jun
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little sister

24 Jun

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One of the surprises of the event for me was that Sleman has a 7 years old sister! With a touch of marvel and sadness I remembered that I left for the seminary when my baby sister, Peggy, was 4 years old. Looking back and pondering what I missed of her, I sometimes wonder, “What was I thinking!” Given that Sleiman’s sister was 7 at the time of his ordination, that means that he would have been in the seminary before she even born.

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after Mass

24 Jun

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As people took turns greeting Father Sleman, the rest gathered or mingled about in the church square.

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hearts: sacred and immaculate

24 Jun

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In the vestment that he wore at his ordination and first Mass, Sleiman’s heart was sandwiched between an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the front and the Sacred Heart on the back.

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tears

24 Jun

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Not one of best pictures, but one of the best moments: tears in his mother’s eyes. When the man to be ordained a priest lies flat on his face in front of the altar, and we chant the litany of the saints, something instinctively tells us that this is a significant moment. The tissues at his mother’s eyes tell a story.

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“Abuna”

24 Jun

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At the sign of peace that every priest extends to the newly ordained, I noticed that the Arab priests were kissing his hands before they kissed him. By the time I reached him, I had gone to school and learned. As it was mine to stand in front of him, I kissed both of his hands. I looked at him and simply said, “Abuna.” After I kissed both of his cheeks, he looked into my eyes with, “God bless you.” God has.

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for this moment and purpose

24 Jun

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On 20 June 2013 it was my honor to attend the priestly ordination of Deacon Sleiman Hassan in his home parish of Immaculate Conception of Mary in Fuheis, Jordan. Father Sleiman is now a priest for the Latin Patriarchate Jerusalem. During the ceremony I remembered a verse from a card sent to me on my thirty-eighth anniversary a couple weeks ago: “God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, for God’s purpose. You make a difference for Him.” It was a delight and a blessing for me to lay hands on him during the ceremony.

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as he waits in line

24 Jun

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Sleman looked so fresh and eager, as he stood, ready for the procession into church to begin.

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a long way from Milford to Fuhais, 1949 to 2013

24 Jun

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It was a year ago when we first met Deacon Sleiman. The group of teachers from Cincinnati celebrated Mass in the Cremisan Valley of Beit Jala, acres of olive trees and green space that will be taken from the people of Beit Jala by the Israeli government and annexed to the Israeli settlements on either side of the valley. Sleiman, serving as the deacon of Annunciation Church in Beit Jala served us, carrying table and everything we needed to celebrate Mass at the place where the parish celebrates Mass every Friday in prayerful protest and plea to God. It was in my imagination at the time that, a year later, we would meet as an elder and younger brother on this day. It was my birthday, 20 June, and the day of his ordination as a priest. It was a long way for me from Milford to Fuhais, and from 1949 to 2013.

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it is since 24 years

24 Jun

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It had been years since the parish in Fuheis has had a son ordained a priest. With soon-to-be-priest Sleman is Father Feras, who celebrated his 24th anniversary of ordination this year.