Salma T. Vahdat
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Following the dictum of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, “when, for love of God, we share our goods with our neighbor in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love and all is returned to us as a blessing in the form of peace, inner satisfaction and joy,” the Community of Faith of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral sprang into action to relieve the suffering of victims of Hurricane Sandy.
John Safi, past president of the Parish Council, Joseph Shaia, Jr., current president and Joseph Shaia, Sr. cathedral trustee, spearheaded the cathedral’s relief effort. The call was published for donations of clothing, food, water and other necessities to sustain friends and neighbors in the New York region so devastated by the killer storm. The response was overwhelming and included many trips by the two Josephs to pick up the donations and deliver them to Catholic Charities for distribution.
The people of New York are no strangers to tragedy, as evidenced by the cohesiveness of our city following the demonic attack of Sept. 11, 2001. As then, our city has marshaled all effort to assist the recuperation, both materially and spiritually, of our neighbors who have suffered such tremendous loss. The cathedral family is energized in its role of brotherly love. It is interesting to note that the Gospel just prior to the Oct. 29 storm was the command to “clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the sick etc.” We are following that admonition and in return are filled with love and compassion. Our own Khalil Gibran has said: “God has placed in each soul an apostle to lead us upon the illumined path. Yet many seek life from without, unaware that it is within them.”