Following the words of Jesus and the example of Saint Anthony the Great,
we, the Antonine Sisters, leave everything behind to follow God, our sole treasure.
The life that we received from God we give back to Him through service and devotion.
Like Mary, the first consecrated woman, we live joyfully to proclaim the greatness of the Lord
who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.


Saint Maron's Celebration

On Sunday February 13, our parish at Saint Maron Church in Youngstown, Ohio celebrated its 100th anniversary kick-off. Parishioners filled the church participating in a special liturgy organized by Sister Celine, DRE, and the MCF committee. Excited MCF students processed in with the clergy and altar servers carrying banners, frames, crosses and other articles or wearing T-shirts that they designed especially for this event. For weeks, the sisters, MCF staff and students have been preparing for this celebration. The Ladies Guild prepared a delicious lunch following liturgy and beautifully decorated the hall which was packed with family and friends enjoying the variety of food. As our wholehearted pastor Chorbishop Mike Kail mentioned in his homily, we have so many blessings and reasons to celebrate: the 1600th anniversary for Saint Maron, the 100th anniversary of our local church, the gift of the living and deceased priests who served our parish and that of our ancestors who built a great legacy by trusting God and supporting their priests. And here we are today, growing in number but also in wisdom and belief, transferring our faith and values to the next generation who will carry on with the Spirit of Maron and the same zeal for as long as God wills.  


A Life of Service

February 2, 2011 is the World Day for Consecrated Life. The article below is dedicated in honor of Sister Claudette Bou Saade, a member of our Antonine community. It is a humble celebration of the beauty of her life totally consecrated to God. May God continue to inspire women and men to serve him with a generous and undivided heart through religious life.

“Good morning” I said smiling to her but the look on her face indicated something was wrong. “My brother died” she replied holding her tears back. During Morning Prayer I glanced over her way catching silent tears streaming down her cheeks. At the end of prayer, I saw her wipe those tears away and get ready to serve yet again for another day.
Sister Claudette is convinced that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers nor height, nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 38-39). I look at her face and I cannot help but think of Mother Teresa’s, whose every crease symbolizes a story of love shared, of faith lived, and of hope built and kept. Like most women, Sister Claudette does not like to reveal her age, and to respect her wishes I will not disclose it either. Age, to her, means absolutely nothing; it is “life” that counts. She truthfully sees life as an absolute gift from God and thus holds it with great esteem. She knows how to admire beauty around her, the beauty of people and that of things. When in awe, her face lights up like that of a little child unwrapping her favorite present. “How beautiful!” she would say pointing out a flower, a bird, a tree or a baby. Likewise, she recognizes good work and eagerly praises someone else’s efforts.
Sister Claudette is also distinguished by her hospitality. It is true that both her Antonine Spirituality and Lebanese background inspire her to be welcoming like she is. Her Hospitality extends however beyond being generous in her greeting and offering of goodies. Regardless of how notable the visitor may or may not be, she takes time to welcome, listen and be present to that person. “Honoring your guest is a Gospel virtue,” she repeats, “you must take care of your visitors and make sure they are comfortable”.
Besides the traits mentioned above, Sister Claudette has a sharp sense of wit that contributes greatly to the fun and laughter we have as a community. Our family life as Antonine Sisters would not be the same without her. I am not trying to make it sound like Sister Claudette is perfect for she would not want to give that impression either. I am just trying to imitate one of her qualities which is admiring the work of God in his creature and appreciating the response of the creature to her God. After so many years of steadfast service to God and to the Church, I can only imagine God smiling down on her, she who portrays his love in one of the most compassionate forms I am fortunate enough to see.
When you love Christ so much that even the death of your brother cannot keep you from serving those whom Christ died for, and when you are secretly mourning in your heart and you still manage to give a smile to ease someone else’s pain, I believe that people deserve to hear about your faith. It was Jesus who said: “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

By Sister Celine Nohra