The North Lebanon Campus (NLC) of Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) commemorated the Academic Year 2023–2024 with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, presided over by Fr. Bechara Khoury, NDU President, and concelebrated with Fr. François Akl, NLC Director, Fr. Antoine Honein, NLC University Chaplain, and Fr. Khalil Rahme, University Choir Director.
Fr. Akl opened the Holy Mass with a speech, citing Pope Francis’ visit to the Catholic University of Portugal, where His Holiness met with students, encouraging them to become fluent in the languages of mind, heart, and hands. Fr. Akl explained to the congregation that the language of mind is the language of wisdom, the heart of love and compassion, and the hands of work. He added, “In this spirit, we begin this new academic year with a divine sacrifice, and place the University in the hands of Jesus and under the holy protection of the Virgin Mary.” Fr. Akl concluded his speech by extending his wishes for a blessed academic year led by the pursuit of knowledge, building of culture, and growth in faith and virtue.
The Father President’s homily centered on the almond tree and its significance, which “implies the divinity and the purity of the Virgin Mary: when her roses blossom, they announce the arrival of spring, that is, a new beginning.” Fr. Khoury continued to highlight the maturity and the responsibility that NDU students, faculty, and staff bear, and the duty and message that each one of us contribute to our community. “It is no coincidence that we exist on this earth,” he said, “and so we must thank God for this University and community, and the time has come to think about how we should strengthen the University and her role.”
The Father President ended his homily with gratitude for the beloved academic and administration staff members for their efforts, sacrifices, and faith in upholding NDU’s mission, which continuously contribute to the development of our Institution.
Following the final blessing of the Divine Liturgy, the NDU community gathered for a reception, marking the start of an academic year rooted in friendship and hope.