Bishop BASIL writes:
|6th Century Church of St. George in Izraa|
Your prayers are requested for our brothers Fr. Richard Petranek of St. Paul/Houston, TX and Fr. Matthew MacKay of St. Joseph/Houston, TX, who will be heading to the Middle East this Sunday, May 24, 2009, with a number of our DOWAMA young adults for our Diocese's first College Mission Trip to the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran  in southwestern Syria where they will visit and work with Metropolitan SABA and his flock.
In addition to several work projects, the group will also make pilgrimage to many of the most revered holy sites within our Patriarchate, including the Patriarchal Cathedral and residence in Damascus, where they will be received by our Father-in-God Patriarch IGNATIUS IV; the house chapel of St. Ananias where the Holy Apostle Paul was baptized; the women's monasteries of Our Lady in Saydnaya and St. Thekla in Ma'aloula; the men's monastery of St. George al-Humayrah in the "Valley of the Christians;" and the reliquary shrine of the Martyr and Unmercenary Healer St. Julian (Mar Ilyán) in Homs. The group will return to the U.S. in time to attend our Parish Life Conference in Wichita where they will share their experiences with us!