The 55th NAM National Convention in Houston was one for the record books. Although the host parish, Our Lady of the Cedars started as a mission in 1991, it is still one of the youngest parishes in the United States. Yet, this young parish organized a record-breaking convention.
Themed appropriately, “Maronites – Deep Roots, Growing in Faith,” our convention began. The Marriott Marquis in Downtown Houston buzzed with Maronites from all over the country. Clergy arrived on Monday and the laity started arriving on Tuesday night.
The excursions to NASA, the city’s museum district, and parish all ended up requiring additional transportation, which was handled beautifully by the organizing committees. The workshops exceeded expectations. The young adult events were by far the most popular. From the brewery event, happy hours, and the gatherings at the Texas-sized, Texas-shaped pool, the mood among the young adults was full of excitement. The youth events were also a great success! A dedicated seniors room was set up with card and board games and a tournament organized on Saturday, but one of the biggest surprises, was the attendance and exceptional success of the children’s program.
A highlight of every convention has always been the entertainment. The religious concert, the addition of a comedy show, Saturday’s headliner, and even our local talents were enjoyed by all. Of course, having a Texas Cowboy theme for Friday night took everyone by surprise!
To the volunteers, donors, and supporters, no matter when or how you contributed, a heartfelt thank you is not enough. You never ceased to amaze. To all those who helped us along the way by their experience and roles in the NAM organization or locally, before, during, and still now after the convention is over, we appreciate you. A special recognition to Bishop Elias for his continued support and for his trust.
All in all, we are thankful for God’s grace in allowing us to host a successful convention.
The hard work of our pastors, Fathers Milad and Edward, and all our over 200 volunteers, did not go unnoticed. We are humbled. To these nice people we say:
Thank you and God bless.
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