By Maggy Makhlouf
Sacramento, Ca, USA
At The Cathedral of theBlessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento, Calif. , more than 800 people from different churches gathered to worship God.
Some people said, “It was a dream.” Others said, “We lived a blessed, happy and unforgettable moment.”
Our Lady of Rosary Church in Sacramento, Calif., hosted the religious singer Joumana Mdawar to perform a concert on May 30, 2015.
Our Lady of Rosary Parish in coordination with the Apostolic Church of the East supported this event along with The Immaculate Heart Radio 1620 AM,
St. James Armenian Apostolic Church of Sacramento,
St. Mary’s Coptic Church of Roseville,
St. Behnam Syriac Orthodox Church of Rancho Cordova,
St. Georges Melkite – Greek Catholic Church of Sacramento,
Holy Virgin Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of West Sacramento and
St. Charbel Mission and Hermitage in Stockton.
“I am carrying JESUS Christ in my heart, and through my voice, I can proclaim His love and compassion to the world,” said Mdawar during her interview on the Immaculate Heart Radio.”
By the alter at the Cathedral, Mdawar performed her concert in four languages, Syriac, Arabic, English and French. All the songs composed by Maestro and composer Joseph Khlife who was present in the concert.
People came from around California and from neighboring states. Lebanese, Middle Eastern and American people attended the concert on Saturday, May 30.
His Excellency Bishop Myron Cotta, the bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento; Bishop Blaire,the Roman Catholic bishop of Stockton; and Bishop Zeidan, the bishop of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles and priests and clergy attended the concert.
Bishop Cotta expressed in his welcome speech his pleasure to receive the religious Lebanese singer Mdawar, the Eastern Churches Community and brother and sister in Christ.
In his welcome, Father Khoury, the priest of our Lady of Rosary and St. Charbel in Stockton, expressed his joy in this ecumenical gathering. “Joumana reminds us of the early Easter Sunday. Jesus no more is among the dead; He is the Living God who poured His Spirit over his disciples to face the world with confidence and fortitude. Wherever she goes, life and hope would pullover a detested place divested by the power of darkness.”
For ninety minutes the singer Mdawar sang accompanied by the pianist Marc Abou Naoum. Audiences were so impressed, especially the American people. The Lebanese immigrants were affected and shed tears.
“I felt the power of the Holy Spirit in this concert. I was in heaven,” said Mdawar after the concert.
Mdawar, during her journey in Sacramento, visited Our Lady of Lebanon and St. Clara in San Francisco, St. Charbel Mission in Stockton and Our Lady of the Rosary.
Bishop Zeiden, who spent three days in Sacramento, celebrated on Sunday Holy Trinity Mass in Our Lady of Rosary. In his homily, he explained the importance of the Holy Trinity in our life and how we can live the value of this truth.
Bishop Zeiden congratulated Father Khoury on his 25th anniversary of his priesthood.
After Mass, the parish council and the church honored Father Khoury and offered him a special benediction from Pope Francis.
The same day, at 7:00 pm, Bishop Zeidan, and Mdawar visited St. Charbel Mission in Stockton. They prayed, blessed and met the Lebanese community. Parishioners honored also Father Khoury, on his 25th anniversary of his priesthood, and offered to him an honoring certificate.
The Lebanese community in Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco were gathered for a week and enjoyed the presence of their Bishop Zeiden, Mdawar, Khalife and Naoum and the 25th anniversary celebration of their priest, Father Ghattas Khoury.