In the context of upholding its tradition, the Campus Ministry and Pastoral Community at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) celebrated on Saturday July 16, 2018, the graduation of its active members from the Zouk Campus and Shouf Campus (SC) in the form of a festive evening gathering organized at Ocean Blue, Byblos.
Present were: University Chaplain General Fr. Albert Eid , North Lebanon Campus (NLC) Director Fr. François Akl, NLC Chaplain Fr. Nabil Habchi, SC Chaplain Fr. Walid Nassif, University Chaplains Fr. Jean Pierre Eid and Fr. Antonio Feghaly, Campus Ministry Assistant Dr. Solange el-Helou , Pastoral Community members, alumni, and fresh graduates.
The gathering kicked off with a welcome note delivered by Fr. Assaf who expressed the great joy he felt regarding the graduation of active Pastoral Community members, who, he said, would undoubtedly remain faithful to the Pastoral Community values and would certainly spread those values to their respective communities. He also announced the establishment the Pastoral Community Alumni Committee composed of Joseph Bassil, Samer Sfeir, Jad Mallah, and Hady Bassil. This committee is currently organizing fruitful meetings aiming at building a network of connections and maintaining NDUers’ sense of belonging . In this regard, Fr. Assaf encouraged the newly-graduated members to stay connected to the Pastoral Community by partaking in its continuous activities.
For her part, Journalist Eva Oueiss, an NDU alumna and Pastoral Community member, delivered a congratulatory farewell speech in which she recalled her remarkable memories during her NDU journey. Oueiss said, “On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to Former NDU President Fr. Walid Moussa, current NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem, and administrators, faculty, and staff at NDU for believing in the Pastoral Community mission and supporting its activities. I have nothing but praise for Fr. Assaf, Fr. Akl, Fr. Habchi, Fr. Nassif, Fr. Eid, Fr. Feghaly, Pastoral Community members, and my dearest Dr. El-Helou, and my fellow graduates.”
She added, “For many, NDU might simply be an academic institution, but for me it is a second home, a place where I have grown in knowledge and grace. I hereby celebrate the eighteenth anniversary of my journey embracing the values of truth, goodness, and beauty that date back to my days at Notre Dame de Louaize School. Those values were fostered at NDU, and I am continuously adding new pages to its chapters … The Pastoral Community helped me invest my skills and potential to put at the service of God through my positions for two consecutive years as Pastoral Community Secretary and Communications Relations, my primary passion.”
Oueiss further described her experiences at NDU and as part of the Pastoral Community. “It was at the Pastoral Community that I formed bounds with priceless friends that have become family to me. It is difficult for us, youth and fresh graduates, to seek the truth in a world overrun by lies, but we are strong and we are the ambassadors of the University maxim ‘Gaudium de Veritate.’ We are heading to new beginnings guided by the Holy Spirit and the sleepless eyes of our Lady of Louaize. At NDU I cried, laughed, overcame disappointments, and succeeded with highest distinction. NDU and the Pastoral Community have marked my journey and I hope that I, too, have left a small mark on their golden record. NDUer for a day, NDUer all the way!”
A compiled video that summarized the most precious Pastoral Community memories of the graduates was screened. The dancefloor came to life with thunderous beats and positive vibes.
Finally, graduates received specially-crafted tokens of appreciation as a reminder of their lifetime mission, which is to be the disciples of God.