May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ;

         It is with great pleasure that we welcome you, on behalf of the entire Community of the St-Jacques Syriac Orthodox Church of Montreal. We trust that your stay will be a most rewarding and enjoyable one.

Our current standing depends on our true faith, our rich heritage and wonderful traditions. This trinity is essential to understanding our way, our truth and our lives. Our faith relies on our lord Jesus Christ, our saviour, who has called on us to be the salt and light of the world. He asks us to choose goodness, to live in justice and become instruments of love and peace. His call has always demanded a choice between good and evil, between light and darkness, between life and death. He makes the same invitation today to all who are gathered here at this youth convention.

Our heritage has directly linked us to Jesus Christ's, through the Syriac language.  It is the language he spoke and used to preach the good news to the world. Today we are proud to use it in his church, the word's first church, our church. We should never forget to preserve our traditions which have been transmitted from the first Christians in Antioch, through our faithful Church leaders and ancestors, who gave their lives to our lord Jesus Christ, to lead us into this new millennium.

We are here today to offer this to you, our future, our hope, our youth. All this enables us to truly answer one simple question, according to his holy words: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me." (cf. Jn 14:6). Finally, through this greeting, our intention is to instil upon you the value of the guidance and wisdom of Our Lord. We urge you to pray, to pray always, to pray well! This is necessary if your lives are to be truly sensitive to the values of the spirit, aimed and directed towards man’s one true goal, which is to be with God. He invites the youth of today, to live joyfully and courageously in the Christian faith; to always listen to the Word of God, give themselves to the service of others and generously follow the teachings of Christ's message.

So we must pray to Him, for ourselves, for our parents, for our families and friends, and to all, we lovingly send Our Fatherly Blessings.

Montréal, January, 2008
Sincerely in Christ
Father Kamil Ishak