Caritas Lebanon annual fundraising Gala Dinner

On the occasion of the feast of Blessed Father Yacoub Al-Kabushi, Caritas Lebanon organized its annual fundraising gala dinner at Le Royal Hotel Dbayeh, under the patronage of the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi. The entertainment was gracefully offered by musician Michel Fadel and DJ Vinny Roumi. The proceeds of this gala dinner go to support the most vulnerable Lebanese, in accordance with Caritas Lebanon’s mission.

The initiative came as part of Caritas’ ongoing efforts to confront the most pressing humanitarian challenges in light of the difficult circumstances the country is going through.
More than 460 people participated in the dinner. In addition to Patriarch Al-Rahi and President Father Michel Abboud, the following were present: the current supervisor of Caritas’ work, Bishop Antoine Bou Najem, the former supervisor of Caritas’s work, Bishop Michel Aoun, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Elias Bou Saab, and former minister Naji Al-Bustani, representing Patriarch Raphael Bedros El Hadi, representing Patriarch Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian, deputies: Farid Haykal Al-Khazen, Ibrahim Kanaan, Ghassan Atallah, Raji Al-Saad, Najat Saliba, Mark Daou, Neamat Aoun, wife of the Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, Brigadier General Elie Al-Deek, representing the Acting Director General of General Security, Major General Elias Al-Baisari, Habbouba Aoun, representing the head of the Progressive Socialist Party. Representative Taymour Jumblatt, Dr. Joseph Al-Helou, representing the Minister of Health in the caretaker government, Firas Al-Abyad, in addition to spiritual, union, banking, economic, and media figures, social activists, members of Caritas’ Board, heads and members of regional offices, and a number of businessmen and philanthropists.

Bou Hadir
The celebration began with the national anthem, and then Caritas anthem, followed by a welcome from the Master of the ceremony, Majed Bou Hadir, in which he said: “To be royal on this night is a decision we took by coming physically in a very comprehensive framework, in order to circle around a sign of hope par excellence in our current era. It is Caritas Lebanon, which seeks with every sunrise, to provide economic development and livelihoods, health and social care, education, services for the displaced, intervention in emergency and crisis situations, humanitarian relief and aid, and care for the environment, as well as advocacy and protection for all those in need, individuals and groups.”
Then President Father Michel Abboud spoke and said: “On the eve of the feast of our father Yaacoub Al-Kabboushi, the patron saint of Caritas Lebanon, and under the patronage and presence of a great Lebanese figure, His Beatitude our father Cardinal Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, I would like to extend my greetings and thanks to all the people who are with us here, individually. Individuals, officials, events and all attendees. We would like to say hello and thank you because you responded to this invitation quickly, and the number present here, and all this generosity and enthusiasm with which you came, exceeded our imagination. This is the biggest sign that there is great love! There is a love for Caritas, there is a love for doing good. Lebanon is still fine, there are still hearts beating full of love and giving and defying crises, which is evidenced by reality wherever we find it. We will continue to say thank you to all the generous hearts despite the growing crisis, which we call the silent crisis.”

Patriarch Al-Rahi stressed in his speech, that “your participation in this dinner for Caritas Lebanon is a sign of your appreciation for the activities carried out by Caritas, and there is no doubt that it is not the first time that you have responded to the invitation. The number of participants tonight is the best evidence that you and Caritas form one family. May the Lord bless you and be with you in every work you do to support Caritas, which is present throughout all Lebanese territories. It helps everyone in need, whether it is educational, health, hospital, or social, and works to meet normal needs, the needs of the displaced, the needs of the sick, and other activities and work carried out by Caritas in the name of the Church. We support it with all our heart and all our strength, and I would like to renew my thanks to you tonight for everything you are doing for Caritas Lebanon, because in doing so you are doing a tremendous work, a work of love that has no limits, and the Lord will give you something good in return for what you are offering to Caritas Lebanon.”
He added: “We are children of hope, so what we are experiencing in Lebanon today does not frighten us, because our hope is greater and our faith is greater, and therefore we remain interconnected and coherent more and more, and our Lord sees and resolves these issues, and of course He will intervene as He wants, when He wants, and in the way He wants.”
This is our hope today. Through prayer, we seek the peace of the Lord, we seek an end to the war in Gaza, southern Lebanon, and everywhere on earth, because our God is not a God of war, but rather a God of peace and love, and this love is what we want to live today and challenge the bitter reality that Lebanon is going through. Caritas works on this basis, and with your help, it helps people, so that no one dies or falls on the road. Thank you Caritas for the work you are doing, but what is certain is that without you, it would not be able to do anything. Thank you because you are doing a great job through Caritas Lebanon.”

The party
After the speeches, actor Chadi Maroun surprised the audience with an improvisational comedy inspired by the occasion. Then, short films were shown about the activities of Caritas Lebanon and its affiliated social institutions, “Intajouna” and “UFeed,” before composer and pianist Michel Fadel began his artistic concert, alongside his band and choir. The dinner was concluded by DJ Vinny Al Roumi.