Patriarch Rai lays foundation stone for Qatar's first Maronite church

Patriarch Rai lays foundation stone for Qatar's first Maronite church and

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Friday, April 20, laid the foundation stone for a Maronite church to be constructed in Doha, Qatar – which Lebanese news outlets report will the first Maronite house of worship in the Gulf.

A crowd gathered around Patriarch Rai as he placed the stone at the construction site of what will eventually be Doha’s Mar Charbel Church, named after a Lebanese-born monk revered by Maronites.

Patriarch Rai arrived Thursday, April 19, in the Qatari capital, Doha, on a pastoral to lay the cornerstone for Saint Charbel Church, Lebanon's National News Agency said.

Speaking to reporters, Patriarch Rai thanked Qatar for “offering a land lot for the construction of the Saint Charbel Church.”

Qatar's cooperation “strengthens ties between the two countries,” the patriarch added, noting that “saints have the ability to unite people.”

Extending gratitude to Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Rai said: “He knows that Saint Charbel reinforces the great friendship between Qatar and Lebanon, and we as Lebanese must fortify this friendship whether we live in Qatar or in our homeland.”

Saluting Lebanese expats in Qatar, the patriarch noted that they “feel at home” in the small Gulf country.

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 15:30
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