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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Akouri Telephones Religious Leaders on New Years Day; Extends Celebratory Greetings & Prayerful Salutations for 2011

BIRMINGHAM, MI/USA - Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President & Chief Executive Officer John Akouri today telephoned religious leaders to greet them with salutations welcoming the new year. In his customary fashion, the former Washington Senior Advisor and Capitol Hill Press Secretary spoke personally on the first day of the new year to many within the the leadership of faith, offering cordial wishes for hopes of prosperity, peace, great riches of happiness, health & blessings, with many happy surprises in the coming months.
On this festive jubilation which commences the start of a new year, Akouri delivered personal New Year's greetings to His Grace, Maronite Chor-Bishop Monsignor Joseph Salame of Montréal, QC Canada; Most Reverend Thomas J. Gumbleton, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Detroit; Father Edward Hanna of Saints Peter & Paul Syriac Orthodox Church; Father George Shalhoub of The Basilica of St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Community; Archpriest Joseph Antypas of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church; V. Rev. Father George Baalbaki of St. Mary's of Berkley Antiochian Orthodox Parish; Rev. Father Maximus Habib of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church; Our Lady of Redemption Pastor Fr. Michel Cheble; St Joseph Maronite Catholic Church Pastor Rev. Father Ghattas Khoury; Sr Carmela Chetcuti, SSFP, of the Sisters of the Society for Peace; Sister Rose Marie Kujawa, CSSF, President of Madonna University; Imam Mohamad Mardini of the American Muslim Center of Dearborn; Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church Pastor Rev. Father Hanna Tayar; Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle Pastor, Fr. Manuel Boji of Holy Martyrs Chaldean Parish; St. Elias Lutheran Church of Chicago Pastor Gabi Aelabouni; and Chor-Bishop Seely Beggiani, Rector Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, DC.
The New Year's weekend also witnessed a formal welcome to the Akouri Family Home of newly appointed pastor of St. Rafqa Maronite Mission, Father Gaby Hoyek. The visit included Sunday dinner and the Maronite Catholic tradition of 'blessing of the home' and inscription of the initials of the three Magi above each door surrounding the feast of manifestation, or Epiphany. After the prayers of the blessing were recited, each room of the home was sprinkled with Epiphany water and incensed. The initials of the Magi - C, M, B, were certainly present as their inscription can be interpreted from the Latin phrase "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" which means "Christ bless this house."
Additionally, the Akouri family happily marked the 15th year of celebrating Christmas Eve with Fr. Brian Chabala, pastor of St. Fabian Catholic Church. Since the pastor's arrival to his new post in 1996, he has joined the family for dinner in between Christmas masses. Akouri offered special toasts and greetings during the jubilant celebration, commemorating the 15th such gathering of family and friends in the presence of Fr. Chabala and to his commitment of service to community, and to break bread and share in the joy of the season.

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