Church community shines at annual Lebanese Festival

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“The success of any parish function is not adequately measured by the financial result … it is about the parish family working together for their love of God and their church,” the Rev. Edward T. Nedder said Sunday in Cranston.

By that measure, St. George Maronite Catholic Church is an enormous success – and it is because of the parishioners, family members and friends who helped put on the annual three-day Lebanese Festival.

David Thomas, for example, spent a lot of time alongside Fadlo Habr, Mike Wakim and Peter Solomon preparing chicken and beef kebabs as part of what Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon called “a special presentation of our great Lebanese foods.” There were times when those volunteer chefs had trouble keeping up with the demand.

“This year’s festival was an overwhelming success,” Nedder said. “I want to send a huge thank you to each and every member of our church who made that possible … The parishioners and their friends worked tirelessly and happily together. Just their enthusiasm and commitment made it a positive parish building event.”

In the case of Thomas and his family, the commitment spanned generations. His wife, Joanne, her daughter, Marisa Almonte, and her granddaughter, Mia Almonte, worked together in one of the food areas.

Elsewhere, Jihane Ayoub, Chloe Ayoub and Eva Almonte were busy preparing wraps for the many delicious offerings, while Ghada Bourjeily-Habr, Gisele Zaarour, Iman Rihani, Marie Habchi and Darine Saker were among those filling the wraps for patrons.

“We’ve had only positive comments on the quality and taste of the food,” Nedder said with a smile.

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