Notre Dame University-Louaize North Lebanon Campus (NDU-NLC) organized on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, a daytrip that included a visit to the Church of St. Charbel in Bekaa Kafra, to the Cedars of God in Bcharre, and to Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi in Diman.
Present were NLC Director Fr. Francois Akl and NLC University Chaplain Fr. Nabil Habchi in addition to a large body of faculty members and staff. The daytrip started in the Church of St. Charbel where prayers were held, and the group continued to Bcharre in North Lebanon were they walked in the Cedar Forest, a UN World Heritage Site, among the biblical Cedars of Lebanon. The invigorating walk in the crisp and clean air soothed everyone’s spirit! The amazing sculptures on cedar wood created by famous Lebanese sculptor Rudy Rahmeh were truly inspirational.
Frs. Akl and Habchi celebrated Mass in the middle of the forest, which gave worshipers a time to reflect and mediate in silence amid God’s creation. A lunch followed at the Officers Club – The Cedars where Fr. Akl presented a trophy to Edgar Harb, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NLC. wished him a happy retirement and thanked him for his many years of dedicated service to NLC.
A spiritual visit to the Patriarch Al-Rahi followed at his summer residence in Diman where the Patriarch cordially welcomed the NLC family. The purpose of the visit focused on working together with the patriarch to overcome the current regional crises, which are adversely affecting Lebanon. Fr. Akl pledged that NDU would continue to pursue its mission to provide quality education and continue to develop a suitable environment conducive to learning. Fr. Akl also praised the University effort in offering financial aid to students despite the challenging economic situation. He noted that NLC had launched a Law major. He then presented to the patriarch a beautiful mosaic painting of the Patriarch Istifan al-Douaihy, a gift that symbolizes NDU’s admiration and support for Antioch.