The Word Magazine June 1984 Page 11
THE LEGACY OF A PRIEST
The Will of Right Reverend Ikonomus Shokrallah Shadid to his three sons — Hafeeth, Lamy and Jabour —Judeidet Marjayoun, Lebanon — April 20, 1902 — Eastern Calendar
My beloved sons and flowers of my heart, Hafeeth, Lamy and Jabour. I pray that your days may be long on this earth.
The date is April 20, 1902 on the Eastern Calendar. I emigrated from this country and traveled to a far country — the United States of America — for the reason of working and making our living, especially for you. First, to live comfortably among people and second, to live in honor and pay our debts to society, and also to be able to give help to those in need. Therefore, for the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ and my love for you, protect what I’m asking you to do.
1. Protect your Orthodox religion until the end of your life. Do not be changeable in your religion.
2. Walk in truth with everybody. As David the Prophet said, “I have been young and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” For that reason, stay away from lying. Always be truthful.
3. Protect the honor of your mother who did suffer with worry and pain to raise you. Walk with her with kindness and politeness. Respect and mind her at all times. As the Lord says: “Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Also I will ask you to protect my mother and keep her in her old age.
4. Walk kindly with everybody. Honor the poor and the sick. Stay away from evil. Do not be a hypocrite. Be truthful in your mind and conscience. As the Lord said from his golden mouth: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neighbor go in yourselves neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Also keep the trusts of others to yourself.
5. Study the Holy Bible, for the Bible will teach you everything. Keep up your lent and prayers and everything concerning the rules and regulations of the Orthodox Church.
6. Honor your guests. Be patient in everything you do. Do not talk unkindly about anyone. Keep up your work and stay away from alcohol and everything that is unkind. Walk according to the ability of your means. Pay what you owe to your debtors — and do not delay. For your truth is your honor.
7. Love everybody, especially each one of you. Do not give opportunity to people to talk unkindly about you. Be hand-in-hand with whomever is the leader of your family.
8. Pay my debts and don’t hold it against me. In ending — walk according to the will of God. Now as long as I live, I will work for you and for your convenience and I will raise my hand to the truth of the Glory that is in Heaven, to protect you in your life and work — and anything that concerns your happiness. May God give you many inheritances.
Each of you should do all that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord Our God and Savior and His honorable Mother, the Virgin Mary and all the Holy Fathers. May God be with you always. Amen.
Right Reverend Ikonomus Shokrallah
Oklahoma City, OK
Economos Shukrallah J. Shadid, Ordained Priest June 20, 1910, by Bishop Ella Deeb. Served St. George Church of Jedeidat, Marjayoun from 1910 to 1920 and St. Elijah Church of Oklahoma City from 1920 to 1937. Elevated to the rank of Economos by Bishop Emmanuel Abo-Hatab on April 2nd, 1933. He fell asleep in the Lord on April 4, 1938.