“God´s call overcomes all the obstacles”

I am Father Marwan Akoury, a Lebanese priest from the diocese of Maronita,  Beirut. I am the eldest son in a family of five members, my father, my mother and my two brothers.                                             

From my childhood, I always loved the Lord and I was aware of His love for me too. Thanks to my family that has brought me up in this great Love of God. This has greatly contributed to the development of my vocation and the wish to consecrate my live to the Lord. All these have also been possible thanks to the help I got from my local parish, Santa Tecla, where I lived.

I was born in September the  29th, 1980. This was the period of war in Lebanon, which started in 1975 and lasted for over thirty years. Despite all the devastations witnessed in this period, the Christian life and the church´s commitment to its mission became a visible characteristics of my country. Even up till now, the scars caused by war are noticeable.

Besides the above, we have to mention sectarianism and rejection to all that is different and considered foreign to my community especially  the Moslems. At the centre of all these, I have realized that Jesus has invited me to attest to His salvation and great love for everyone and above  all, to destroy the obstacles such as hatred and discrimination.

My church´s commitment to the life in the parish with different youth movements is not enough. So I have looked for different ways to quench my burning desire for this mission. After a long way following my years at the university, my professional life of teaching up to when I was 27 years old,  a time reached when I abandoned all that in order to serve the Lord in a priestly life. It was not really easy to make this decision owing to being the first born in the family. The family expected me to marry. But the Lord´s call overcomes all the obstacles and maintains our decisions so that His will can be done on us.

At the diocesan seminary in Beirut, “St. Augustin” I finished my formation and I  prepared myself for the priestly ordination which took place on 19th of  May, the Pentecost Sunday.

Like the Lord sent his disciples teach and baptize, I send myself to the mission with all diversities that exist within the church in Beirut, St. Michael or College de la Sagesse where I was the director of a high school.

During those three years, I have learnt about priesthood and that for a successful priest, there is need to be in communion with his Master and always listen to His word.

Spreading the spirit of Jesus is creating  bridges of peace and dialogue  which is a basic need for good communication especially in a country which is a concrete example of diversity and coexistence with each other, be it a Christian or a Muslim. Once more it was the Lord´s call through my Bishop Monsignor Paul Matar who proposed that I should study communications in Rome to respond to the demands of the church in Lebanon.

So here I am in Rome since 2016 at the Pontifical university of Santa Cruz pursuing my studies in Institutional Social communications. Here, I have discovered what I was looking for, I live in happiness and I am eager to take my  mission in the heart of the church, with Christ to whom I have surrendered my life, my past, my present and my future.

Père Marwan Akoury