As an institution of higher education, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) is committed to its outreach, not only striving to strengthen its relationships, but also to show a genuine appreciation for the support received. This past Friday, January 27, NDU invited the Lebanese media for its Annual Media Dinner under the title, “Writing the Next Chapter.” The evening welcomed Antoine Nabil Andari, Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Jounieh and President of the Episcopal Commission for Media Outlets in Lebanon, as well as the Minister of Information, H.E. Ziad Makary. President of NDU, Fr. Bechara Khoury, Vice President for Administration and Finance (VPAF), Abbot Semaan Abou Abdou, and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Mr. Ziyad Baroud, Mr. Rony Farra, Ms. Rose-Mary Choueiry, and Ms. Mona Kanaan, attended the event alongside other University representatives, enjoying the presence of Lebanon’s media figures.
The dinner commenced with the Lebanese National Anthem. The attendees then joined Bishop Andari in prayer, calling to the objectivity of the media as messengers of the truth: “Heavenly Father, may You continue to make these representatives of Lebanon this evening beacons of truth, a truth that liberates.” The Bishop cited Pope Francis’ speech on the responsibility and necessity of the media in the age of information, their vocation rooted in the persistent search for and communication of the truth. “Lord, bless us here as we gather as a family,” Bishop Andari prayed, “Bless all those present and absent, and all who are called to work tirelessly in the media. Protect them from harm, and assist them as witnesses of the faith, hope, and love.”
Following the moving prayer, Fr. Khoury addressed the guests in his statement: “Your strengths lie in your ability to shape points of view in service of democracy, advocacy of public interests, and defense against corruption.” Emphasizing the role the media plays in education and the wider culture, the Father President asked that the media “continue to reserve a space for education, culture, and all that is academic in your work.” In Lebanon’s current state of unrest, Fr. Khoury added that it is crucial that the media remember its responsibility as a school in and of itself: “The media is above all else a vessel of education, and everything you communicate is intended not to tear down but rather build up the individual.”
H.E. the Minister took to the podium next, echoing Fr. Khoury’s sentiments in terms of the duty of the media as a national influence, particularly in its relation to academia: “A country such as ours, with educational institutions of this caliber, cannot collapse.” Minister Makary added that Lebanon has historically been a source of education and culture, a prime destination for students in the region. He stated: “Let us strive to maintain these standards, working together to uphold this crucial aspect of our country, the media and the educational sector working in tandem.”
To honor both the Bishop and the Minister, they were presented with a token of appreciation, Greater Lebanon, an NDU publication honoring the country’s rich history. The dinner proceeded, a lively atmosphere inspired by a joint mission and purpose: to defend and support the truth, institutions of education, and a society that longs for integrity and improvement.