Merry Christmas from Abuna Elias Chacour


Abuna Elias Chacour at Christmas

Christmas Newsletter 2013

Dear Friends, Pilgrims and Friends of MEEI,

It is indeed difficult to express my admiration for your long-lasting fidelity and friendship to Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin, Galilee. With this message I want to wish you All a very happy Christmas and a thoroughly joyful New Year.

What you have done through Pilgrims of Ibillin was far more than a sign of solidarity, since it was indeed an act preserving life and allowing progress and development. We have gone through extremely complicated and cruel circumstances. Had we been left alone we might have given up on most, if not on everything. Your constant generosity sustained us and encouraged everyone at the school to persevere. You helped us serve hundreds of young men and women, planting in their hearts the seed of hope, or rather awakening this hope, despite the fact that many factors around us try to kill hope in our youth.

Because of you and of your friendship and your generosity we continue with a unique power to believe that only unity within the present diversity can bring peace and justice to us all. Education is the best tool to achieve such a goal. We shall overcome. Our vision will become a reality. Children – Jewish and Palestinian – will learn together one day in the near future.

For this Christmas season we organized an inter-schools competition for children of our Melkite schools and it was broadcast on the ‘Voice of Israel’ radio every Wednesday afternoon through December 18th. This was the very first time that such extra-curricular activity was organized. Maybe the fact that the ‘Voice of Israel’ agreed to broadcast directly each one-and-a-half hour session is in itself a sign of real hope for religious plurality inside the state of Israel. Very much has still to be done, but we are present to act and to witness for this great vision of ours.

Soon we will be celebrating the birth of Christ: Christmas and the New Year. We will be praying for you and thanking God for putting you on our way toward the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank you. Thanks so very much for your friendship and for your prayers, which I cherish so dearly, but also thank God and thank you for your continued commitment and generosity.

Yours sincerely,


Abuna Elias Chacour
Archbishop of the Melkite Church in Galilee

PS – Click here to give a gift supporting the Mar Elias Schools founded by Abuna Chacour.   65% of MEEI students  need financial aid. Your gifts provide the opportunities of a top-flight education and strong leadership development training.  Thank you!

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