Vicariate for Palestinian–Jordanian Communities in the USA

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The Vicariate for Palestinian–Jordanian Communities in the USA (formerly the Jerusalem Patriarchate in America) comprises the Orthodox churches under the omophorion (authority) of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, represented in the Americas by Archbishop Damaskinos (Gaganyaros) of Jaffa.

The churches belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America were technically referred to as belonging to the Epitropia of the Holy Sepulcher in America since the Church of Jerusalem does not have any local resident diocese but is essentially a representational or diplomatic Church.


The Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has a long history in the United States dating back to the 1920s but became more established with the appointment of Archbishop Damaskinos of Jaffa as Epitropos in 2002. Under Archbishop Damaskinos' leadership there was significant development over the following years. However, the Jerusalem Patriarchate subsequently decided to leave the jurisdictional scene in North America.[1]

On August 5, 2008, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, announced that the Patriarchate of Constantinople had agreed with the Patrisrchate of Jerusalem to transfer the Jerusalem parishes in America to a "Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA" within the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[1] The vicar would operate under the authority of the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.[2]

As of 2008, there were 15 parishes involved, nine in California; one in the State of Washington; one in Arizona; one in New York; one in Pennsylvania; one in Massachusetts; and one in Georgia.[3] The 2008 announcement about these 15 parishes met with considerable objections.[3] A priest explained the objections: "We feel that, in 1948, Palestinians and Jordanians were thrown out from our land, and now it is being done again by our Patriarchate. We are not Greek. We are Palestinian and Jordanian Orthodox from the Holy Land, and we have the right to belong to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem today, tomorrow and forever."[3]

List of parishes and clergy[edit]

  • St. George Orthodox Church

399 San Fernando Way San Francisco, CA; Very Rev. Father George Jweinat; Very Rev. Father Issa Awwad; Rev. Fr. Hanna Khoury; Rev. Fr. Nectarios Raie

  • St. George Orthodox Church

7311 College View Dr. Rohnert Park, CA; Very Rev. Father Moheen Hanna; Rev. Fr. Hanna Khoury; Rev. Fr. Nectarios Raie;

  • St. James Church

195 North Main St. Milpitas, CA; Very Rev. Father Giris Hanna; Very Rev. Fr. Moueen Hanna; Rev. Dn. Joseph Kawar

  • Orthodox Church of the Annunciation

1700 North Towne Ave Claremont, CA; Rev. Father Hanna Haddad

  • St. Lawrence Orthodox Church

6192 Highway 9 Felton, CA; Very Rev. Fr. Thaddeus Hardenbrook Rev. Fr. Luke Dingman Fr. Dn. Nathaniel Johnson Fr. Dn. Lazarus Adams Fr. Dn. James Somerville

  • St. Stephen Orthodox Church

11055 Hirshfeld Way Rancho Cordova, CA; Rev. Fr. Romanos Khoury

  • St. Nicolas Orthodox Mission

7401 White Lane Bakersfield, CA

  • St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Mission

1924 Trinity Ave. Walnut Creek, CA; Rev. Fr. Spyridon Jajeh; Rev. Fr. Athanasius Sawaked; Arvado, CO

  • Decent of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Mission

Los Osos, CA; Rev. Fr. Spyridon Jajeh; Rev. Fr. James Matta

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Herbel, Oliver. Turning to Tradition: Converts and the Making of an American Orthodox Church, p. 141 (Oxford University Press 2014).
  2. ^ "Decisions on Some Palestinian and Jordanian Communities in the USA", Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (August 5, 2008).
  3. ^ a b c Kalmoukos, Theodore. "Palestinian Priest Against New Vicariate", The National Post (August 17, 2008).

External links[edit]