In Lebanon

No matter where he is, an Antonine monk always remembers his mission: to constantly remind the people that they are on a journey, a pilgrimage towards the Kingdom.
From the already established monasteries that are places for prayer and common fraternal life, the Antonine monks start their journey and embark in their mission, not only in all Lebanese regions, but they also go beyond the borders of the country.
Most of the monasteries of the Antonine Order were built or expanded by the monks themselves, as it shows in the documents preserved in the Historical Archives of the Order. As for the distribution of the monasteries among different regions, this constitutes a clear indicator of the objectives of the Order and its religious mission.


Others


   A liturgical renewal

Faithful to the teachings of their founding Fathers, especially to Patriarch Blouzani, the Antonine monks knew how to preserve the originality of the Maronite confession rituals and how to modernize them at the same time, as years went by.

That’s how in 1889, the Superior General Abbot Emmanuel Baabdati called for this very reason, the musician Father Girgis Aziz (a.k.a. Al Jezzineh), student of Professor Emile Boutek from Alep. Also, Father Boulos Achkar who was also a student of Father El Jezzineh, and after taking specialized courses in sacred music in Italy and France, published a number of works namely “The Oriental Music”. When he returned to Lebanon, he deployed all his efforts in order to create choirs in the parishes and in schools; and among his numerous musical publications, we mention “the Sang Psalms”, “the Syriac hymns”, and “the Real Joy”.

The Antonine Order continued its efforts in the fields of sacred music and soon established the School of Music in Baabda, followed by the Institute of Music in the heart of the Antonine University.



  Pastoral  


   Pastoral Work

All along the History of the Maronite community, the Antonine monks knew how to remain exemplary pastors working in the service of the mission they were entrusted, in the service of announcing the word of God. The Antonine Order is currently responsible of more than 30 parishes in Lebanon and abroad, thanks to the faithful and dedicated pastoral work of its monks.

There is no doubt that one of the first fruits of these efforts was the establishment of the Center of Oriental Studies and Research (CERO) responsible for a number of pastoral and spiritual publications intended for faithful people of all ages.

  Education   


   Agriculture

Work is an integral part of every monastic life, and the constitutions reiterate the fact that monks “should earn their living by the work of their hands”. Work is a brotherly service undertaken in order to achieve a common interest, and without opposing to the blossoming of every brother on his own.

In the regards, the agricultural dimension and the farming capacities have naturally found their place in the majority of monasteries, and the lands located around every monastery constitute a proof of the hard and meticulous work of the monks who transformed rocky and arid lots into fertile and productive lands.

With time, economy progressed and agriculture was not enough anymore to face the daily necessities of life and the mission of the Order. Therefore, monks were obliged to diversify their manual works while preserving, at least in an important number of monasteries, the traditional agriculture especially of fruits, olive derivatives, milk products, wine and spirits.



       


   Education and Teaching

Since the beginning, there is no doubt that education and teaching were among the main objectives of the mission that the Maronite Order has set in order to be at the service of the Church and of the Lebanese people. Several schools in monasteries prove it (Mar Chaaya, Jezzine, Baabda, Nammoura, etc), as well as the Antonine printing house and the magazine Kawkab Al barriyya (Star of the desert) in the early XXth century.

St Joseph School in Baabda which grew to become the Collège Antonin, is one of the first pedagogic institutions in the country and served as starting point for the establishment of several educational and technical institutions.

The Antonine University – Baabda – Hadath, as well as several other educational establishments gather more than 6000 students throughout the Lebanese regions: Collège Antonin at Haouch Hala - Rayak in Bekaa; School of Notre Dame de la Délivrance in Mina, Tripoli; school of Notre Dame in Hasroun, School of St George in Bauchrieh, International Antonine School in Ajaltoun, Antonine school in Talabaya, Bekaa; and Saint Joseph Technical school in Marjeyoun in the South. The Antonine Pedagogic Bureau insures the coordination among these educational centers.

These establishments are managed by Antonine monks who are trained and specialized in educational and cultural fields, not to mention the efforts the Order is deploying in the fields of catechesis and social works, like for example the Association for Justice and Mercy (AJEM) which works since 1996 in prisons and helps marginalized people.

  Agriculture