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Building a Dream in Mississauga

"Unless the LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1)

On behalf of Rev. Fr. Elias Ayoub and St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, we are honoured and excited to announce the first-time visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, along with our diocesan Bishop, His Grace Alexander, over the Victoria Day weekend (May 16–17). This hierarchical honour is scheduled especially for the Ground-Breaking Ceremony and the Fundraising Gala.

Twenty years ago, our parish purchased a 3.2-acre property, centrally located in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. We continued to rent a local church, and were permitted to offer our Divine Liturgies on Sunday evenings only. We had to endure extra rental fees for all other liturgical ceremonies, and spiritual and social activities. Our parishioners always say "al kaneesa mesh men hajjar, al kaneesa men basher," an Arabic saying that translates roughly to "the Church is not made out of stones; the Church is made out of people." How true that is! While we firmly believe that we are His Church, all members of Christ's Body, we also recognize the practical needs of our community here in Mississauga. Every parish needs a physical church in which to carry out its liturgical, pastoral, educational, and social activities. Therefore we have been working very hard, determined to realize our community's dream: building our own St. Mary's Church.

Our late beloved Metropolitan, His Eminence Philip (of thrice-blessed memory) visited us over two decades ago, when we initially purchased the land, to grant us his paternal blessing and to encourage us at the beginning of our endeavour. Now His Eminence Joseph will carry on the task of guiding and supporting us to see our dream become reality.

Now that we are ready to build our beloved St. Mary's church, we take this opportunity to invite our sister churches throughout North America to join us in this wonderful event. We are reaching out as far as we can, gathering as many supporters as possible to come and lend a helping hand to St. Mary's Church. We want to be what we are all called to be: a true witness for Christ, and of Orthodoxy in Mississauga. Your much-appreciated support and contributions will help us reach our goal!

Most events, including the Ground-Breaking Ceremony, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the Fund-raising Gala, will take place on May 16 and 17.

For further information, please contact Anna Haddad (416-522-7910) or Ayed Ballan (416-989-1501), or e-mail events@saintmarysmississauga.com. See, too, saintmarysmississauga.com/event/fundraising-gala/ on the Web.

St. Mary's Ground-Breaking Committee
The Word, May 2015