On Thursday, the 29th of June, His Eminence, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, paid a pastoral visit to St. John the Baptist Church in Chicago, IL, which hosted the Youth convention for the year 2017 from June 29th and July 2ed, under his auspices. Suryoyo Youth came from all over the eastern parishes of the Archdiocese, and they exceeded 200 participants. The youth convention committee prepared a very interesting program for the guests to enjoy. Other than trips and entertainment plans, they provided a very good educational program that included religious, spiritual, social and heritage projects.
They had two lecturers, Malfono Gabriel Sawma, and Shamosho Adnan David. The first speaker talked about the privilege of the Syriac Identity, throughout the ages, and how to reflect it in our lives everywhere, especially in the diaspora. The second speaker talked about the Christian faith, and how to face the challenges facing it, particularly in the present time, where governmental and liberal organizations are fighting it ferociously. Malfono and shamosho encouraged them to continue the fight our forefathers fought and won throughout history.
One of the most important activities of the convention was an Open Forum. The Panel consisted of His Eminence, Rev. Fr. Yacoub Youhanoun, Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Bahhi, Dr. George Bitar, Miss Helma Adde and Shamosho Philip Akdemir. It was a very informative question and answer program.
Also, the youth participated in a very humane mission: cooked meals and took them to a shelter for the homeless: Social endeavors are highly recommended by our Church.
The Youth enjoyed trips and a Banquet that gathered them in a very family- oriented type, that brought happiness and concord to all.
Sunday concluded the convention with the Holy Liturgy, officiated by His Eminence, and assisted by Rev. Fr. Yacoub Youhanoun, the pastor of the Church hosting the Convention. It was held at the hotel hall, and after the Liturgy, a lunch was prepared for all the congregation.
His Eminence was very impressed by the huge efforts Rev. Fr. Youhanoun, St. John the Baptist Convention Committee and Congregation exerted, that resulted in a very commendable and successful convention.