Beirut, Lebanon – 2017: Under the patronage and in the presence of President Michel Aoun and with the benediction of His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, 77 th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Maronite Church, Beit Rafqa, a non-profit eldercare community, officially opened its doors in Jrebta, Northern Lebanon.
President Aoun arrived to Jrebta accompanied by Minister Gebran Bassil and his wife Chantal, welcomed by Patriarch Al-Rahi, along with Mother Sonia Ghoussain, the Mother Superior of the Pontifical Lebanese Order of the Maronite Nuns, Mother Melanie Maksoud, head of St. Joseph monastery, Mr. Selim El Zyr, Vice Chairman of Beit Rafqa Organization and the man behind the initiative and his wife Rita, General Manager of Beit Rafqa Elie Abou Yaghi, in addition to the attendees, from nuns and Beit Rafqa family members.
President Aoun unveiled two commemorative signs at the entrance of Beit Rafqa premises, then toured the house to discover its sections and services and visited its beautifully painted church.
Following his benediction prayer held at the church of Beit Rafqa, Patriarch Al-Rahi addressed a speech to the President Aoun entitled “You are the rock and upon this rock I will build my church”, saying: “The Batroun region and St. Rafqa Monastery are expressing their happiness today for having you among us for the inauguration of this house and this small church. For our country you are more than a rock; you are the backbone whose responsibilities are different than all the others, for our country fully relies on you and in your turn, you rely on those who support you in your work, the saints in heaven and people of good will.”
President Aoun signed the following statement in Beit Rafqa’s book of records: “Beit Rafqa is a new house named after a saint from Lebanon, which moves us to another level of faith and hope; and by servicing the elderly, we reach the ultimate way of serving our society. Congratulations and best wishes to those who worked hard to make this project happen.”
More than 300 guests attended the inauguration ceremony including ministers, deputies, priests, dignitaries, officials and members of social and religious groups.
Mother Sonia Ghoussain thanked Mr. El Zyr and every person who supported him, by saying: “You embraced our monastery with your unlimited giving, by establishing Beit Rafqa to be there for the elderly that need our care the most; congratulations on your great accomplishment.”
In her turn, Mother Melanie Maksoud said: “St. Rafqa has granted you, your excellence Mr. President and your Beatitude the Patriarch, with the keys of this house, for it to remain open, with your support, for every individual who finds their shelter under its roof.”
Mr. El Zyr expressed his happiness for having realized the dream of his mother, saying: “Beit Rafqa was founded with the conviction that our elders should receive the respect, quality care and attention they need in order to indulge them with the comfort they deserve throughout their golden years.” “Our community members are surrounded with love and kindness, sharing moments together and engaging in topics and activities in a caring and nurturing environment they have the pleasure of calling home.” he added.
The event included musical performances by the Choir of Saint Rafqa Institute of Music performed for guests and was culminated with a cocktail reception.
Beit Rafqa was carefully designed to provide community members with round-the-clock care and attention including 24/7 access to professional nurses, special treatment rooms, a check-up room, a physiotherapy facility and nutritious meals prepared internally by a specialized team. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, Beit Rafqa features 44 furnished single and double occupancy rooms, with comfortable beds, central heating and air conditioning, in addition to eight communal living spaces to engage community members in social and entertaining activities. Surrounded by mountains, Beit Rafqa residents enjoy fresh air and a mild climate year around, encouraging community members to stay active through various sports activities.
About Beit Rafqa:
Beit Rafqa is an elderly home founded by “Beit Rafqa”, a non-profit organisation, to provide the elderly with the attention and medical care they need, in a warm family environment. It is located alongside St. Rafqa’s Shrine as part of St. Joseph Monastery, in Jrebta, Batroun.
“Beit Rafqa” offers the elderly all the elements of a decent life, and was carefully designed to provide them with round-the-clock care and attention they require including 24/7 access to professional nurses and nutritious meals prepared internally by a specialized team.
Surrounded by mountains, “Beit Rafqa”, the wheelchair friendly facility, features 44 single and double occupancy rooms with central heating and air conditioning, in addition to eight communal living spaces to engage the elderly in social and entertaining activities. And for a better medical care, “Beit Rafqa” includes special treatment rooms, a check-up room and a physiotherapy facility.