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Grotto Dedication at St. Matthew’s

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In honor of the month of Our Lady, St. Matthew Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church in Ceres held its dedication of the grotto to Our Lady Full of Grace on Saturday evening. The ceremony began with the Rosary and hymns to Our Lady lead by the St. Matthew’s Choir. His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo then lead the congregation from the Church to the newly errected grotto outside where he blessed the statue. Afterward, children presented flowers to Our Lady and received blessings from the Bishop.

The event was blessed by the presence of His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo, clergy from the surrounding parishes, as well as Seminarians of Mar Abba the Great and religious sisters from both The Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Workers of the Vineyard. After the blessing, the congregation attended a dinner in the Hall which was beautifully prepared by the women of the parish.

During dinner, Mar Sarhad was asked to speak a few words to the faithful who were gathered. His words were full of encouragement and love for the parishoners of St. Matthew’s. “We have crossed the bridge together,” he said, “and many desired to shake us, but your clergy, your priests and religious gave their lives fully in order to serve you and that unshakingly.” He went on to say that as a Bishop, he cannot accept 1% of negligence, he must give his faithful 100% and that is what he and the clergy who serve alongside him have done. “Three talents were given, and three more were required, not two and a half. Those who serve you gave themselves fully to do so. Though we are fallen and sinful, yet we are faithful. We are for our people year after year and day after day.” Mar Sarhad spoke of passing the test and now enjoying the fruits of the labor. He ended by mentioning that the harvest is now plentiful and he is finally enjoying its fruits, the faithful gathered before him that evening. “We are all for one another and we are all for the Lord.”

Mar Sarhad will continue his visit to St. Matthew’s by celebrating Mass at the parish on Sunday morning.