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With God, Abouna Daoud!

23 october 2012

With deep pain and great faith, our friends from South Lebanon and Jordan told us that their provincial chaplain Abouna Daoud Kawkabani, "was born in heaven" on October 6...

Article from L'Orient-Le Jour
The preparations were well underway for the Board of Directors meeting planned for 7 October in Harissa, the files and the bags were packed. Everything was also ready for the 2013-2014 Guidelines team meeting, which was going to follow: Hoda had invited an excellent team, which Father Daoud was to have joined… This project was off to a great start! Before leaving, Hoda wrote to us: “I saw him in the hospital on Wednesday. He asked me for news of the Guidelines: I asked if he had read the meditations. He said no, I’ve been in hospital for 17 days … I’ve spent this time praying and meditating. He was coming out on Saturday and promised to join us in Harissa if everything was fine.”
And then, the evening before our departure to Lebanon, Father Daoud outsmarted us… He left us to “to join his Father and our Father”… Unfortunately, we arrived too late for the funeral mass at St George Maronite Cathedral in Beirut; this mass was “spectacular” according to the article in the newspaper, L’Orient Le Jour on Tuesday 9 October. Those who attended were able to give us a lot more detail about this very moving ceremony… like for example, the departure of the coffin after a large procession during which it touched the altar, as if the altar itself wanted to mourn a very good friend.
I met Father Daoud several times during the international meetings in Rome, Madrid and Lebanon, including during my last visit in 2009. I remember the prayer vigil in a big tent in Madrid as the Lebanese were about to return home, worried about the fate of their loved ones who were under heavy bombardment from hostile Israeli forces. All those participating in that past evening still remember it with much emotion… I remember the evening spent in Beirut in March 2009, we had been to the restaurant with him and we then walked around Beirut. He always needed someone to take his arm because he could barely see and I remember that I found it funny that this priest who was such a good guide, always needed someone to guide him!

 

At the restaurant in March 2009
On the day of his death, the Gospel of the day (Luke 10 17-24) talked of the return of the seventy two disciples and that was also very appropriate for the return to Heaven of Father Daoud. The disciples had returned to Jesus “filled with joy”: I am certain that that he, too, is now “filled with joy”! And when Jesus replied to them: “rejoice that your names are written in heaven!”, I say that we can rejoice because the name of Father Daoud is written in large letters in heaven! Jesus went on to proclaim: “What you have hidden from the wise and the learned, you have revealed to the little children!” Yes, the mission of the Guidelines team is to listen, as Father Daoud taught us, to the little children , for it is they who are our masters! He is going to continue being part of the team in a quite particular way, he will watch over us and encourage us in our work… there will be much beautiful and good fruit! The theme of the Guidelines will be “Continue the adventure!” Father Daoud, you will always be at our side for the beautiful Faith and Light adventure! Thank you!!

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