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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.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Speech by John Akouri at the Opening Ceremonies of the 4th Annual St. Peter's Maronite Catholic Church Summer Festival in Windsor, Canada

Good Evening ladies and gentlemen, distinguished Consul of Lebanon, the Honorable Bachir Tawk, special guests, religious clergy, fellow parishioners, and dear friends. Thank you so much for that warm welcome and generous applause. What a great and enthusiastic crowd I see before me on this stage and I know the youth cannot wait to get this party started. I cannot think of a better place to celebrate my birthday or with any other group of people than right here with all of you tonight. I am truly grateful for your invitation to celebrate and launch the opening ceremonies of our community's annual festival and I bring you greetings from America. My friends, I have only been attending Mass here at St. Peter's since the start of this year. In that short time, you have made me feel very welcome and as a part of the family and for that I thank you. But I want you to know, that back in Michigan we have three Maronite Churches, a Mission and the Order in Ann Arbor - some of whom are here tonight. People ask me all the time why I travel so far and to another country to hear Mass on Sundays. I tell them for one reason and one reason only: I come to St. Peter's for our Pastor Monsignor Joseph Salame. He is a priest of peace, understanding, unity, principal and vision. He is beyond reproach, a man of God, and one of the finest priests I have ever known. He is a diamond in a field of zirconium. His leadership is an example by which all others could and should follow. Monsignor, tonight I thank you for welcoming me and my family into your home, your parish, your community and most especially your heart. Again, I thank you all for your kindness and I wish you another successful festival. Good Night and God Bless.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">