Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Very Reverend Father John Meno’s Retirement Banquet

Saturday October the 16th was the date our community gathered together to show love, honor and great appreciation to a clergy who gave 40 years of his life to the service of St. Mark’s Cathedral. The Board of Trustees of the Cathedral planned this party and executed it very successfully. They made sure it expressed the deep gratitude the community, clergy and parishioners, have toward this man of God. His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim was following the preparations step by step. The celebration was held at the hall of our sister Church of the Virgin Mary, Paramus. Almost 400 parishioners from the metropolitan area attended this event.

The Master of Ceremony was Elias Sarkar, who provided the music on the violin, accompanied by Dr. Gretchen Hannoush on the Piano. His Eminence, Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim presided over this banquet of appreciation, accompanied by the local clergy. They were joined by some dignitaries, representing the sister Oriental Orthodox Churches (the Armenian, Coptic and Ethiopian), who were friends with Very Rev. Father John Meno, through his role as an ecumenical officer of the Archdiocese.

Very Rev. Fr. John Meno entered the hall accompanied by all the members of St. Mark’s Board of Trustees. He was given a great standing ovation welcome. His wife, Batheqyomo Rolanda was accompanied by representatives from the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Mark’s, of which she was a member for a long time. Their son Peter, in full military uniform, was accompanied by the Chiefs of the Syriac Scouts of America, of which he was a member too.

Past Board of trustees’ presidents gave speeches, reminiscing the times they worked together with their beloved priest; Mr. George Shammas, Mr. George Saliba, Mr. Sami Gelin, Mr. Elias Sarkar and Mr. Mike Ghassali, took back the audience through different eras of St. Mark’s Cathedral, from Hackensack to Teaneck, with Father John Meno present at all times, sharing in good and difficult times.

The Sunday School and the Scouts too, showed their gratitude to Father John Meno for his tremendous help for the last 40 years. His Eminence, Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim read a letter of blessings, sent by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, and gave a speech, in which he talked about the great legacy Very Rev. Father John Meno left in our Archdiocese, which will leave its effect on our community for a long time.

Very Rev. Father John Meno concluded the celebration with a speech that expressed his genuine, heart- felt feelings of gratitude and thanks to God, His Eminence, clergy and St. Mark’s organizations and parishioners for this token of appreciation they worked hard for.

The Ladies Auxiliary are commended for their hard work in providing a very delicious Mazza, and Mr. Rami Kario for donating a tasty main course.

The Archdiocese, all its clergy, organizations and parishioners, wish Very Rev. Father John Meno a quiet and happy retirement. May he and his family enjoy a long and fruitful life together. We will surely miss him, however, expect him to visit us more often.

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