St Charbel’s marking jubilee year

CELEBRATING their most significant year yet, the Monastery of Saint Charbel Lebanese Maronite Order in Punchbowl, turns 50 in December and will mark the Jubilee Year of the parish with a range of special events.

The church was named after Saint Charbel who was born Youssef Antoun Makhlouf on May 8, 1828 and died on December 24, 1898.
Known among Lebanese Christians as the ‘Miracle Monk of Lebanon’ because of favours received after prayers are said at his tomb, he was a Maronite priest who obtained a wide reputation for holiness and his ability to unite Christians and Muslims.
He was beatified in 1965 and canonised (made a saint) in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
Saint Charbel’s Punchbowl Father Anthony El-Kazzi says it’s an exciting time for the church and will hopefully start a different chapter in the life of the parish.
“Not just for the Maronite community but for anyone who seeks God,” he said.
“The theme for the Jubilee is ‘Honouring the Past, Celebrating the Present and Inspiring the Future’ and we invite all to enjoy our special events.”
These events get underway on May 8 (Saint Charbel’s birthday) with the arrival of the Tomb of Saint Charbel’s relics and procession from Highclere Avenue to the church at 7pm.
The Very Revered Abbot Tannous Nehme who is Superior of the Monastery of Annaya in Lebanon where the tomb resides, will be in attendance along with His Excellency, Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, who will lead the procession and Mass from 8pm.
Father Anthony says the arrival of the tomb will transform the parish into a sanctuary and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the community to come and pay respects with the church open for 24 hours.
Then during Saint Charbel’s Feast Week, there will be a parish fete and barbecue on Saturday, July 20, followed by a vigil mass.
A canonisation feast anniversary will be held on October 10 with a five-day light show, depicting some of Saint Charbel’s life story, followed by a Gala dinner at The Bellevue Bankstown on October 17 (ticketed event) with a further celebration on December 13 including the Christmas tree lighting and nightly markets from December 14-22.
There will also be a special Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the anniversary of Saint Charbel’s death and the date Saint Charbel Punchbowl opened in 1974.
To find out more: or call 9740 0998.