OUR MISSION

Who We Are

We are the Mission of Hope and Mercy, consecrated under the intercession of Saint Rafka (Rebecca), the Lebanese Maronite nun and saint who died March 23, 1914, and the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, source of Divine Mercy and Divine Grace. Our ultimate goal is to create a United American Christian front that can present a response mechanism to face the religious persecution of ISIS or any other evil entity that threatens religious freedom in our nation and abroad, remembering that our nation was founded on Judeo- Christian biblical and moral principles.

Our apostolate is named for Saint Rafka, patron of our church, whose story reflects the struggles of modern day Middle East Christians. In 1860, when the Druze massacred Christians in Mount Lebanon and in Syria, Saint Rafka, a nun at the time in the town of Deir El Qamar (The Monastery of the Moon), went out to the public square of the town where she encountered a little boy who was being targeted by the Druze swordsmen. She hid him under her black nun’s robe to protect him from the swordsmen who were seeking to cut off his head. This story is intimately tied to the modern day plight of Christians in the Middle East and our mission to protect them.

We place great trust in the motherly care of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the suffering Christians and the Queen of the Persecuted Church. We entrust to her holy and wounded heart the work we do as we educate the world through our Mission of Hope and Mercy to the Second Coming of Christ.

Through serving the truth of the Gospel and keeping the message of the Holy Church for the salvation of the entire world, we aim to defend the truth of the faith of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, to open up, to love, to pray with, to understand, and to defend the Value of Unity with our brothers and sisters of all Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, and non-denominational Churches. We believe that by practicing prayer, penance, fasting, reconciliation, acts of charity and evangelization through awareness, we are an extension of the Holy Saints of God, a sign of the victory of Christ over all evil. We will strive to help healing amongst Church members of different traditions, as through education and charity we anticipate the victory of one holy community under One Shepherd, who is Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Son of the Living God and Savior of the World.

Why

We believe that the current atrocities being perpetrated upon Christians and other religious minorities constitute an unacceptable genocide. When Christians suffer in any part of the world, especially when the faith is being eliminated from the Middle East, the lands where Christianity began, all people suffer, regardless of religion or race.

Pope John Paul II said in 1997 “Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for both East and West…” Lebanon is once again demonstrating its important role in religious freedom by taking in over 1 million Christians and other religious minorities who have been driven from their homes and persecuted for believing in the God of the Bible or in the free exercise of religious thought. We will assist persecuted Christians who have fled to Lebanon through our connection with the historic Maronite Catholic Church in Lebanon.

What we do

Pope Francis called the Catholic Church to be the field hospital in this wounded world that is now battling a third world war whose first target is Christianity. We aim, therefore, to have a personal encounter with the wounded ones, first from our brothers and sisters of the Christian people, then to all others, to be living witnesses to the Gospel of life and salvation to all.

We are shaped after the example of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) who goes in person and helps. We are eye witnesses whose call is to assist the oppressed and the poor, and to raise awareness and advocate for those who are persecuted because of their faith in Christ.

The Christian presence is being cut off in the lands of the Middle East, where Christianity all began. We are more than a charity mission, we are the church in action, promoting social justice and defending human rights. We do so by assisting displaced Christian refugees who have sought refuge in Lebanon. Our assistance comes by means of food, medicine, hospitalization, and moving people to safety. Beyond the direct assistance that we provide, our mission works to raise awareness among people who are in the greatest position to help, to move people’s hearts so they will view situations from the perspective of their faith and conscience.

Our core value, through assisting the Christians in places where there is persecutions of the faithful in Christ, is to foster dialogue with other religious groups, to evangelize, and to promote the value of coexistence and the love of the enemy. Christians must not have enemies. The Gospel is universal and, therefore, we take the Gospel beyond Christianity to reach all people whether they have religious beliefs or are without any religious connection.

In this sense, we are an extended community of the Holy Church that is striving for unity amongst all Christians to show solidarity in love.

As such, we aim to give a concrete hope and to evangelize through acts of mercy. Through the means of conferences and special charity actions, we try to stand by our wounded people who are being attacked and are living martyrs because of their faith in Christ. We are the consolers, for we count on the Holy Spirit, who is the source of all of our inspired actions, through which we defend the value of Christian forgiveness and pardon to the enemies who are killing the innocent and prohibiting religious freedom and freedom of existence.

Giving in abundance is one thing, but giving when it hurts is completely more meaningful, and this is what we do: We give when and where it hurts. We are the emergency caregivers in the current crisis that is targeting, killing, wounding, raping, displacing, and impoverishing Christians in the Middle East. We must offer them aid and make people cognizant of the peril that the Christians are suffering again.

Where

Our home mission is based out of two main offices, the first in Lakewood, Colorado, the second in Lebanon. We work through the churches of the Middle East, and especially through the historic and leading role of the Maronite Church. Because of their mature role of love, peacemaking, and respect of both Jews and Muslims, they are among the best entities that can help western governments more fully understand the Middle East’s complex situation. With churches covering all of the political Near-East and the historical Middle East, the historic and geographical identities of the eastern churches make them the ideal place to carry out a mission of hope and mercy. The anthropological, social, economic, and political diversities and richness that the eastern churches possess lead to the most successful economic, educational, medical and public institutions in the Middle East. The Churches in the Middle East can offer valuable clarifications to help our government have a better vision and a more realistic understanding and agenda for any possible future in Syria, in Iraq and other places. Churches are the only communities in the Middle East that have a direct experience and knowledge of what is really happening and are in a position to offer concrete solutions.

How Can You Help?

Interested in helping provide hope and mercy to persecuted and oppressed Christians in the Middle East? Join one of donor or sponsorship programs, become a partner, or volunteer your time and talent. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to stay informed about upcoming events, learn about current projects, and hear the stories of the people we aid in the Middle East. Visit our Get Involved page for more information on how you can help!

Our St Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy stands as a prophet who warns and educates, a soldier who protects and saves, a Good Samaritan who provides and helps, and an apostle of Christ who is a peacemaker and announcer of Good News.

Fr Andre Y- Sebastian Mahanna.
Director, St Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy.

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