The Melkite Association of Young Adults (MAYA) is an organization of Melkite Catholics ages 18 – 26 (and at least 1 year out of high school) under patronage of our bishop, the Most Reverend Nicholas Samra.
MAYA began in 1994 with a small group of “graduates” of NAMY (National Association of Melkite Youth) asking the bishop to extend NAMY so that people their age could meet and share their thoughts and experiences of God in the adult world. The bishop agreed and established MAYA, appointing Fr. Justin Rose as moderator. Since then, MAYA has grown to number over 100 active members from around the country. 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 bound together as a family, and are striving to be strengthened in our Catholic faith with each opportunity we get.
MAYA members from all over the country meet at least once a year, at the annual MAYA National Retreat prior to the National Melkite Convention to gain a greater understanding of God, ourselves, and those around us through the daily services. (Orthros, Vespers, and Compline), presentations by our moderator and others, faith sharing, discussion, and fellowship.
Many local MAYA chapters around the country have also hosted retreats throughout the year in order to keep our members active in strengthening the practices of spirituality, fellowship, and service.