"Although the Balamand University was established by Orthodox Christians, it is for all people and it is bridging the gap between people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Many students are being helped by scholarships provided by the University. To contribute to this University is to contribute to needy and worthy students. St. John Chrysostom, one of our great church fathers once said ‘feeding the hungry is more important than raising the dead’."
These words of our beloved Father-in-Christ, Metropolitan PHILIP, effectively underscore the importance of an historic event that our God-protected Archdiocese is about to host. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the University of Balamand, and with the blessings of His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the Balamand Educational Foundation is pleased to announce “An Evening of Celebration” on Saturday, November 1, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The purpose of this Celebration is not only to welcome His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, but for the establishment of the Metropolitan PHILIP Educational Scholarship Fund to benefit in-need students at the Balamand University. The University is a private, non-profit, independent institution of higher learning that performs its mission through teaching, research and service to the community. As Metropolitan PHILIP says, “The Balamand University is located on a beautiful hill which overlooks the Mediterranean from the West, Tripoli from the North, and the Cedars of Lebanon Mountain from the East. It is very significant to Orthodox and Non-Orthodox people. It has been a center of education and spirituality for many centuries since its inception as a monastery. I spent three beautiful years as a seminarian on that beautiful hill and one year as a teacher of Arabic language and literature. Those were the most cherished years of my life in the Middle East.”
As we welcome His Beatitude to North America once again, we focus on two distinct events that he will preside over. The first will be the “Evening of Celebration” on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at the Westin Copley Hotel Ballroom in Boston, Massachusetts. This will be the inaugural fundraising event to formally announce and establish the newly formed educational scholarship fund in honor of Metropolitan PHILIP. In addition, on Sunday, November 2, 2008, His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS will also preside over the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, which will be concelebrated by His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP and the Hierarchs of our God-protected Archdiocese.
Metropolitan PHILIP urges all of the faithful of the Archdiocese to participate in any way that they can. He says, “I am very honored that these good people of our Archdiocese have decided to name this fund in my honor. It has been my pleasure throughout the years to help many students to receive scholarships to attend the Balamand and other universities in Lebanon and in the United States. I hope that this project will achieve its goals and help many needy and worthy students, especially in the Middle East.”
For more information about hotel reservations, please contact 1-800-Westin1 and specify the Balamand Event. For additional information about the Evening of Celebration, please go online to the archdiocese website or www.balamandef.org  or contact your parish priest.