M.A.Y.A. stands for far more than just the Melkite Association of Young Adults. It is an organization of Melkite Catholics ages 18 – 26 (and at least 1 year out of high school) under the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States and the patronage of our Bishop, the Most Reverend Nicholas Samra, Eparch of Newton, which exists to help ourselves and one another strengthen our relationship with God.
A little history:
The organization began in 1994 with a small group of “graduates” – there was no official diploma conferred – of NAMY (National Association of Melkite Youth) asking the Melkite Church in the U.S. for an extension of NAMY and for an excuse to continue meeting and sharing their thoughts and experiences of God in the adult world. What they got was the supporting hand, arm, and leg of an amazing priest by the name of Fr. Justin Rose and the confidence of the Church for accreditation.
Since then, MAYA has grown to over 100 active members from around the country. We meet at least once a year, every year, before the National Melkite Convention. This convention is for everyone and anyone wanting to broaden and strengthen their understanding of the Melkite faith. However, before this national convention, we, MAYA, hold the National MAYA Retreat. Through a series of some intense and some not-as-intense experiences, we take a step back from the noise, rigors, and speed of everyday society so that we can examine ourselves to gain a greater understanding of God, ourselves, and those around us, as we pray 3 times a day (orthros, vespers, and compline); as we walk a mile in another’s shoes by volunteering our time and energy to work as a team for the benefit of those who need our help in communities around the country; as we receive valuable knowledge about our rich Melkite faith from our priest, Fr. Justin Rose, other priests, and also many accomplished guest educators; and as we get to know one another on a very personal...make that SPIRITUAL level through faith sharing, discussion, and Catholic fellowship. Once our time is through, most head to the national convention where they meet up with their families for a few more days of prayer and fellowship.
In 2010, MAYA joined the "International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) - Pax Romana," a non-governmental organization at the United Nations. Now, as our members bring the ideals and skills learned at our gatherings back to their parishes, they have a new opportunity to be involved with an international movement dedicated to the promotion of social justice while being guided by the teachings of Christ.
By the grace of God, MAYA has been a huge success over the last decade. We have proven ourselves to be a solid group of young faithful adults who are striving to strengthen ourselves in our Catholic faith with each opportunity we get. For those who are part of MAYA (but might not know it), we hope you'll consider joining us at our next retreat or event! Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your stay here at USMAYA.ORG!