The Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic Church, with her own hierarchy, is composed of a Patriarch who is Her father and head, and over forty Bishops who shepherd the many Eparchies (Dioceses) in Lebanon, the Middle East and throughout the world. The Patriarch governs the Church in a synodal manner with his body of bishops as is customary in the Eastern Churches. They are in full communion with the Pope, the Successor of Saint Peter in Rome.
Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi was born in Himlaya, Matn District, Lebanon on 25 February 1940. He attended College Notre-Dame de Jamhour, a Jesuit school in Lebanon. He entered into the Mariamite Maronite Order on July 31, 1962 and he was ordained as a priest on 3 September 1967. From 1967 to 1975 he was responsible for the Arabic language transmissions of Vatican Radio.
In 1975 he was awarded a PhD in canon and civil law. He also studied for three years in the Lateran University in Rome. He was consecrated as auxiliary Bishop of Antioch on 12 July 1986, by Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir and on June 9, 1990, appointed Bishop of Byblos. In 2003 he was elected Secretary of the Maronite Synod, and in 2009 he was appointed President of the Lebanese Episcopal Commission for the Media. In 2007 he received the award of the National Order of the Cedar.
At age 71, he was elected Patriach of the Maronites on March 15, 2011, after getting more than two-thirds of the votes of the 39 bishops. The Mass for the inauguration of his patriarchate will be on March 25, 2011, in Bkerké, held the See of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate. As is custom for all Maronite patriarchs Rahi took the additional name Boutrous (Peter), who briefly held the see of Antioch before moving to Rome to become bishop there.
Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a consistory on 24 November 2012. Patriarch al-Rahi is the fourth Maronite Patriarch created cardinal, the first three being his three immediate predecessors Paul Peter Meouchi, Anthony Peter Khoraish, and Nasrallah Sfeir.
On January 31st of 2013, Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
In February 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Patriarch Rahi, being a Cardinal, participated as a cardinal elector in the conclave that elected Pope Francis. Cardinal Rahi was one of four cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church who wore distinct vestments proper to their respective churches. The other three cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church were Coptic Catholic Patriarch-Emeritus Antonios Naguib, Syro Malabar Major Archbishop George Alencherry, and Syro-Malankara Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis. Cardinal Rahi's attire during the opening day was distinct from most of the other electors in that he wore all-red vestments with distinct headgear proper to the Maronite Church. Cardinal Rahi is also the first Maronite Cardinal Patriarch ever to participate in a papal conclave.
Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was named a Member of the Congregation for Catholic Education by Pope Francis on Saturday, November 30, 2013.
On March 18, 2015 Cardinal-Patriarch al-Rahi became the sole cardinal-elector from the order of cardinal-bishops when Cardinal Naguib turned 80 and ceased to be a cardinal-elector.
He remained the sole cardinal-bishop elector until June 28, 2018 when four Latin church cardinal-priests of voting age were elevated by Pope Francis to cardinal-bishop by having their titular churches co-opted to suburbicarian rank and Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church was created a cardinal-patriarch.
The Most Reverend Gregory John Mansour was born on November 11, 1955, in Flint, Michigan, the eldest of six children of George and Gloria (Farhat) Mansour. His ancestors trace their heritage from Ehden, Tibneen, and Damour in Lebanon, from Nazareth in Palestine (now Israel), and from Damascus, Syria.
He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education from Western Michigan University in 1977. He entered Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C., later that year. In 1981 he received a Post Graduate Degree in Theological Studies (STB) from Catholic University of America.
On September 18, 1982 he was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop John Chedid at Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Flint, Michigan. After studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, he completed his Degree in Spiritual Theology (STL) in 1983.
In 1983 he became Pastor of Saint George Church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Between 1987 and 1994 he was responsible for Deacons and Subdeacons in the Diocese of Saint Maron – USA.
In 1994 a second Maronite Eparchy, Our Lady of Lebanon, was established in the United States. Bishop John Chedid asked him to serve as the Vicar General, Chancellor and Financial Officer of the new Eparchy located in Los Angeles, California.
Father Mansour was elevated to Chorbishop on January 21, 1996 by Bishop John Chedid. Between 1998 and 2001, he attended U.C.L.A. as a graduate student in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures program with special emphasis on Islamic Studies.
In March, 2001, at the request of Bishop Robert Shaheen, the second Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, Chorbishop Mansour relocated to St. Louis, Missouri remaining in his post as Vicar General and assuming the additional role as Rector of Saint Raymond Cathedral. He also taught Spiritual Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 2002 and 2003.
In January 2004, Pope John Paul II named him third Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. Bishop Mansour was ordained in Lebanon by Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir on March 2, 2004 and was installed as Bishop in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon on April 27, 2004.
Bishop Mansour has served on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Pro Life and Catechesis and Evangelization Committees. He continues to serve on the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue.
In addition to serving as Secretary for Christian Arab and Middle Eastern Churches Together (CAMECT), he is also a member of the Board of Trustee for The Catholic University of America, Catholic Relief Services, Aid to the Church in Need, Caritas Lebanon and Telelumiere/Noursat, and is actively involved with the efforts of In Defense of Christians (IDC) to support and advocate for Christians of the Middle East.
Bishop Mansour is also an active member of the Maronite Synod of Bishops that meets every year in Lebanon.
The Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is composed of 45 parishes and missions, a Seminary in Washington D.C., a Convent in Dartmouth, Mass, and a Monastery in Petersham, Mass. . For more information visit www.stmaron.org.
Father Simon El Hajj was born in Beirut, April 25, 1980. He is from Rmeich, South Lebanon, and was raised in Bourj Hammoud and belonged to St. Joseph Church.
Since he was 9 years old, he began his journey in the organizations in the church as a member of Fursan Al Azraa, then a president of Talaeh El Azraa, the young adults of Mary.
Father Simon was regional president for Fursan El Azraa in Maten l Sehil, and a consultant for the same organization all over Lebanon.
He was trained by World Vision organization to work with children early 1998. He volunteered for the same organization for over 5 years.
Father Simon became a trainer for all new chiefs who wanted to work with children ages 6 to 14. In 2005, father Simon entered Patriarchal seminary in Ghazir to prepare his journey toward the priesthood.
Ordinations: Sub-deacon in December 2009. Deacon on May 2, 2010. Priesthood on August 15, 2010.
Father Simon came to the U.S. December 2010 as a parochial vicar in Our Lady of Victory in Pittsburgh.
In September 2011, he was assigned as an administrator to the Maronite Community of Aliquippa.
Father Simon worked to elevate the community to a Mission in June 2012, and moved the church to Darlington, PA.
On October 1, 2014 Father Simon was assigned as a Pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon, Easton PA.
On June 1, 2018 Father Simon was assigned as a Pastor of Saint Sharbel Church, Somerset, NJ.
He is member of the vocation team in the Eparchy, and Protopresbyter of MidAtlantic East.
B.A. in Social sciences from Lebanese university Rabieh.
S.T.B.(Pontifical degree) in philosophy and theology from USEK University Jounieh.
M.S. in Leadership concentration in Professional Administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA
Post graduate certificate in Spiritual direction and Leadership from Pittsburgh, PA
Post graduate certificate in Pastoral management and leadership, Pittsburgh, PA
PhD student in Organizational Development and Leadership, Philadelphia, PA
Deacon Joseph Chebli
Born: June 21, 1970 in Lebanon
Parents: Edgard and Sonia Chibli
Brothers: Alain (1975-2007), Dani
Wife: Elizabeth Michael
1974-1987: Primary-Secondary education at College St Joseph-Antoura, Lebanon
1989-1995: BS-Pharmacy, St John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health, Jamaica NY
2011: MA Systematic Theology, Seton Hall University, S. Orange, NJ
2013: Doctor of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
March 25, 2007- Minor orders: Cantor, Lector and Subdeacon Eparchy of Saint Maron, Brooklyn NY
October 11, 2015- Deacon, Feast of St Philip the Deacon, Eparchy of Saint Maron, Brooklyn NY
Medical Director-Clinical Pharmacist
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Moral & Spiritual Dimension of Health Care at Felician University
Adjunct Instructor of Anatomy & Physiology
Global Fellow for Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
American College of Cardiology (ACC)
American Society of Consultant Pharmacist (ASCP)
American Association on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
American Pharmacist Association (APhA)
Saint Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church
14 Reeve St, Somerset, NJ 08873, US
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