SAINT RAFKA MISSION OF HOPE AND MERCY
UPDATED AS OF OCTOBER 20- 2015
We believe that the current atrocities being perpetrated upon Christians and other religious minorities constitute an unacceptable genocide. When Christians suffer in any part of the world, especially when it is being eliminated from the Middle East, the lands where Christianity began, all people suffer regardless of religion and race. We will raise awareness of this issue, provide assistance to those who are persecuted for their religious beliefs, With particular attention to the aid Lebanon provides to our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted by radical terrorists. Pope John Paul II said in 1997 “Lebanon is more than country it is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for both East and West…” Lebanon is once again demonstrating its important role in religious freedom by taking in over 1 million Christians and other religious minorities who have been Driven from their homes and persecuted for believing in the God of the Bible or in the free exercise of religious thought. We will assist persecuted Christians who have fled to Lebanon through our connection with the historic Maronite Catholic Church in Lebanon.
We are the Mission of Hope and Mercy consecrated under the intercession of Saint Rafka (Rebecca), the Lebanese Maronite nun and saint who died March 23, 1914, and the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, source of Divine Mercy and Divine Grace. Our Ultimate goal is to create a United American Christian front that can present a response mechanism to face the Religious Persecution of ISIS or any other evil entity that threatens the religious freedom in our nation and abroad remembering that our Nation was founded on the Judeo- Christian biblical and moral principles.
A Historical Fact: It is important to understand clearly that the source of our relationship to Saint Rafka comes from the historical fact of 1860, when the Druze (Muslim-affiliated sect) Massacres against Christians in Mount Lebanon and in Syria, Saint Rafka, a nun at the time in the town of Deir El Qamar (The Monastery of the Moon), went out to the public square of the town and hid a little boy under her black nun’s robe who was being targeted by the Druze swordsmen to cut off his head.
We are shaped after the example of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) who goes in person and helps. We are eye witnesses whose call is to assist the oppressed and the poor, and to raise awareness and advocate for those who are persecuted because of their faith in Christ.
Pope Francis, for instance, called the Catholic Church to be the field hospital in this wounded world that is now battling with a third world war whose first target is all Christianity in the world. We aim, therefore, to have a personal encounter with the wounded ones, first from our brothers and sisters of the Christian people, then to all others to be living witnesses to the Gospel of life and salvation to all.
Giving in abundance is one thing, but giving when it hurts is completely more meaningful, and this is what we do: We give when and where it hurts. We are the emergency caregivers in the current crisis that is targeting killing, wounding, raping, displacing, and impoverishing Christians, first in the Middle East along with other people, and to make people cognizant of the peril that the Christians are suffering again.
Our care is first for the Christians and then others who are persecuted. Not because they are a minority, but because they are capable of pardoning even their enemies not precipitating violence. They are the true peacekeepers.
The Christian presence is being cut off in the lands of the Middle East, where Christianity all began. We are more than a charity mission, we are the church in action for the sake of social justice, defending human rights, servicing the displaced Christian refugees first and others who are now in Lebanon by means of food, medicine, hospitalization, and moving people to safety or under a roof. Even though we meet with other charity organizations in this regard, our mission is to raise awareness, move people who are powerful in their throne of money, politics and military to look at situations based on their faith and conscience and based on the heart and not only on the cold mind of business away from God.
Our focus is to assist any persecuted Christians and, as such to assist them through raising people’s awareness of the situation in the hope of healing and full reconciliation with the offenders.
Our core value, through assisting the Christians in places where there are persecutions of the faithful in Christ, is to open up a dialogue with other religious groups, to evangelize, and to promote the value of coexistence and the love of the enemy. Christians must not have enemies. The the Gospel is universal and, therefore, we take the Gospel beyond Christianity to reach all people whether they have religious beliefs or are without any religious connection.
In this sense, we are an extended community of the Holy Church that is striving to unity amongst all Christians in reason to show solidarity in love.
As such, we aim to give a concrete hope and to evangelize through acts of mercy. Through the means of conferences and special charity actions, we try to stand by our wounded people who are being attacked and are living martyrs because of their faith in Christ. We are the consolers for we count on the Holy Spirit, who is the source of all of our inspired actions through which we defend the value of Christian forgiveness and pardon to the enemies who are killing the innocent, and prohibiting religious freedom and freedom of existence.
Through serving the truth of the Gospel and keeping the message of the Holy Church for the salvation of the entire world, we aim to defend the truth of the faith of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, to open up, to love, to pray with, to understand, and to defend the Value of Unity with our brothers and sisters of all Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, and non-denominational Churches. We believe that by practicing:
- Acts of Charity
- Evangelization Through Awareness,
we are an extension of the Holy Saints of God, a sign of the victory of Christ over all evil, We will strive to help healing amongst Church members of different traditions, as through education and charity we anticipate the victory of one holy community under One Shepherd, who is Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Son of the Living God and Savior of the World.
We place a big trust in the motherly care of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the suffering Christians and the Queen of the Persecuted Church. We entrust to her holy and wounded heart the work we do as we educate the world through our Mission of Hope and Mercy to the Second Coming of Christ.
The churches of the Middle East, and especially through the historic and leading role of the Maronite Church, are among best entities that can build a fuller understanding that would help western governments to better understand the Middle East complex situation. The main reason being the churches’ mature role of love, peacemakers, and respect of both Jews and Muslims.
Another reason lays in the historic and geographical identities of the eastern churches. The map of the eastern churches covers all of the political Near-East and the historical Middle East.
A third reason lays in the anthropological, social, economic, and political diversities and richness that the eastern churches possess. Churches possessing territories in the Middle East lead most successful economic educational, medical and public institutions in the Middle East.
The fourth reason lays in the valuable clarifications that churches in the Middle East can offer to help our government to have a better vision and a more realistic understanding and agenda for any possible future in Syria, in Iraq and other places. Churches are the only communities in the Middle East that have a direct experience and direct knowledge of what is really happening, and can offer concrete solutions.
Our St Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy stands as a prophet who warns and educates, a soldier who protect and save, a Good Samaritan who provides and help, and an apostle of Christ who is a peacemaker and announcer of Good News.
Fr Andre Y- Sebastian Mahanna.
Director, St Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy.
October 20- 2015