Metropolitan Basil (Mansour) Lays the Cornerstone for the First Monastery in Akkar
From An-Nahar. H/T Antiochians in Nice.
Metropolitan of Akkar Basil Mansur presided over the celebration of the laying of the cornerstone of the Monastery of Our Lady of Arbaya (Dormition of the Theotokos) in the village of Baynou Akkar in the presence of a large number of dignitaries, including the Abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Archimandrite Isaac Barakat.
Among the metropolitans’ words were the following: “God is the one who builds, and he is the one who gives us the blessing, blessing us with what is present. He is the one who helps us and who provides builders with materials for the buildings they construct and provides those who give for its construction. The project at hand is the construction of a church with several rooms with an area of 300 square meters.” He hopes that the monastery’s large building will be completed in 2011.
Turning to the former vice prime minister of Lebanon, Issam Fares, he said, “We cannot do any good work without remembering Him and we cannot be in any place without recalling His name out loud. In the desert of this country, full of thorns and problems and labyrinths, He illumines the way and He illumines our souls with great comforting. This is why, in His presence and in your presence, I am not afraid of building the monastery which will be built through our reliance on God.”
His eminence stated that, “An archdiocese without monasticism is like a body without a soul, and without monasteries, the Church would be like a body without a head.” He wondered, “Why do monasteries and holy places spring up in mountains and valleys all over Lebanon, but there is not one such place in this region?”