Sydney Retreat photo for website

Another successful retreat day for married couples was organized by Teams in Sydney. It was held in Our Lady of Lebanon parish on Sunday, 11th November 2012.  The theme was taken from the Year of Grace inviting all couples to reflect on God’s grace in their lives. Fifty nine couples attended.  They were divided into two groups according to their preferred language, Arabic or English.

The retreat that was given in Arabic was directed by Sr Rose Therese Tannous from the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family.  Sr Rose is a very active nun in the Maronite Diocese, working with many families and spreading God’s word through very successful Bible studies.  Sr Rose focused on the important role of God’s grace in helping couples being true to themselves and to each other by throwing away all masks that hinder the growth of their relationship.  The day included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayers, talks, group discussions, couple time, a powerful testimony on God’s grace given by a couple from Teams, Ghadi and Lara Sleiman.

The English retreat was directed by two speakers: Monsignor Shora Maree and Mr Anthony English.  Anthony, who is a very dynamic speaker, gave two engaging talks on God’s grace.  Being a father of seven children and grounded in Catholic theology, he was able to lead the couples into a journey with God where one is able to depend completely on God’s providence, trust in His love, make a leap of faith and embrace the Cross instead of escaping from it as the world encourages us to. Anthony stressed that it is only through the Cross that we are able to experience the resurrection.

In the afternoon, Monsignor Shora gave a talk entitled: “Make me a channel of your grace”.  He spoke about the importance of being a channel of grace for our spouse where we, as men and women of God, can achieve our main goal as husband and wife; that is to help each other attain holiness.  The day also included prayers, group discussions, couple time and discussions between men and women separately.  A life testimony was also given by Charles and Sonia Baltasar (new members of Teams).  This beautiful couple gave a moving testimony on how God’s grace transformed their lives and how they were able to go through many difficulties and come out stronger than ever.

Finally, the day concluded with Mass where both groups joined together to worship and give thanks to God for his love, mercy and grace.

May our Lord continue to bless all Teams members who worked hard to make this day very fruitful.

Juliette and Joe  Ayoub


The full text of Pope Benedict’s message for the 47th World Communications Day, January 24th – Feast of St Francis de Sales – Patron Saint of Writers & Journalists, and also of the Deaf.

St Francis

The development of Social Networks calls for commitment.  Social networks are nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart.  …….. I pray that God’s Spirit will accompany you and enlighten you always, and I cordially impart my blessing to you, that you may be true heralds and witnesses of the Gospel. “

The full text of Pope Benedict’s message for World Communications Day Jan. 24th, 2013