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Milestone: Basilica marks 40 years in Livonia

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20121011/LIFE/210110508/Milestone-Basilica-marks-40-years-Livonia?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Plymouth|s Milestone: Basilica
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2012

      Milestone: Basilica marks 40 years in Livonia
      Oct. 11, 2012

      Parishioners at the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia will observe the
      40th anniversary of their church and its leadership, the Rev. George H.
      Shalhoub, with a “Weekend of Gratitude” activities, Friday-Sunday, Oct.

      The celebration will start with a welcome reception and awards
      presentation honoring founders and volunteers at 6:30 p.m. Friday. A
      “Dare to Dream” banquet is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday. His Eminence, the
      Most Rev. Metropolitan Archbishop Philip Saliba, Primate of the
      Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, will lead bishops,
      priests, dignitaries and other faithful in prayers and devotions all
      weekend, culminating with Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, at 10:30 a.m.,
      Sunday. A brunch will follow the Mass.

      Shalhoub also marks the 40th anniversary of his ordination this year.
      Born in Hama, Syria, he was sent to the Balamand Monastery in Lebanon at
      age 12 and later ordained a deacon. He arrived in the United States in
      1971 to serve the growing number of American Orthodox Christians. That
      same year he married Nouhad Ghareeb, with whom he has raised four
      children. Shalhoub was assigned to the Mission of St. Mary in Livonia
      immediately after his ordination on Feb. 6, 1972. At that time there
      were few parishioners and no building to call their own.

      In the years that followed, the group of immigrant Christians from
      across the Middle East and non-immigrants from throughout the United
      States, forged a family-like bond that helped the church to grow. Under
      Shalhoub's leadership, the congregation saw the construction and
      dedication of its current home in 1977 at 18100 Merriman. In 1991, the
      St. Mary's Cultural Center was completed and helped further solidify
      fellowship among the parishioners of St. Mary.

      “Fellowship and faith are vital to a thriving parish; and, we have been
      blessed to build a congregation-in-Christ over our 40 years with more
      than 600 hundred families who call St. Mary Basilica their house of
      worship, today,” stated Shalhoub in a press release. “Because of the
      freedom of worship we have in America, we have been able to honor
      celebrate our faith for 40 years and grow it like a tree.”

      St. Mary Church was elevated to the stature of a basilica in 2002. The
      church has assumed a growing leadership role in educating Michiganders
      about the Eastern Orthodox faith. Saliba proclaimed it “a new church for
      a new century.”

      For more information about the 40th anniversary celebration, visit
      www.saintmarylivonia.com or call (734) 422-0010.
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