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Official merch for Maronite milestone

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Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay blessed the 50th anniversary apparel on 14 July. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay blessed the 50th anniversary apparel on 14 July. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Australia’s Maronite Catholics are gearing up for the golden jubilee of their eparchy—literally.

Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay blessed official apparel for the 50th anniversary, which includes t-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps featuring the jubilee year logo, on 14 July.

The high point of the year will be a Mass celebrated by Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, along with bishops and heads of religious orders from Lebanon and around the world on 24 September.

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Proceeds from the Jubilee year, including the clothing sales, will go to support Maronite students in need in Lebanon.

The themed apparel was produced by Andre and Sarah Abouharb at their Catholic Apparel store in Belfield, in collaboration with the eparchy.

“We’ve designed it to be clothing that people will want to wear again and not just put away as memorabilia,” said Mr Habouharb.

“From my side, it’s bringing faith and fashion together, but I always tell people that we’re not about promoting words on our back and that our actions have to reveal the message too.

“It’s also just another way of Catholics recognising each other and forming a bond, especially in situations in society where it can be a bit of a struggle to be Catholics in our culture.

“Whether you’re wearing it in a shopping centre or at university, people do notice and you get stopped and asked about it. So it’s an opportunity to represent your faith with respect.”

The Maronite Eparchy of Australia was founded in 1973, but Maronites have been present in Australia since 1854.

The jubilee year will also coincide with the diocese hosting the sixth congress of Maronite bishops in Australia.

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