Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Sydney

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Eparchy of Saint Maron of Sydney (Maronite)
Eparchia Sancti Maronis Sydneyensis Maronitarum
Saint Maroun's cathedral Sydney.jpg
Country Australia
Metropolitan Immediately subject to the Holy See
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
160,000[1] (n/a%)
Parishes 11
Sui iuris church Maronite
Rite West Syro-Antiochene Rite
Established 25th of June 1973
Cathedral Saint Maron Cathedral
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi
Eparch Anthony Tarabay, OLM
Emeritus Bishops Joseph Hitti, Ad Abi Karam
Maronite Eparchy of Australia

The Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Sydney (in Latin: Eparchia Sancti Maronis Sydneyensis Maronitarum) (sometimes spelled Maroun) is an overseas Maronite rite (Antiochene rite) eparchy (diocese) of the Catholic Church in Australia, based in Sydney. In 2010 there were 160,000[2] members. It is currently ruled by Eparch Anthony Tarabay, OLM.

Territory and statistics[edit]

It is a member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The Roman Catholic Church is made up of the Latin or Western Catholic Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches (comprising four major rites), one of which is the Lebanese Maronite Church. The Eparchy is non-geographic, but demographic in that it has Australia-wide jurisdiction wherever Maronites are found. It is not suffragan to the Archdiocese of Sydney, but immediately subject to the Holy See. It has many churches, schools, nursing homes and other institutions in all major cities. Its eparchial seat is in Redfern, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, where is located the Saint Maron Cathedral.[3] In 2010 there were 160,000[4] Lebanese Maronite Catholics in 11 parishes.


19th Century[edit]

Due to a large emigration of Lebanese Maronite Christians in mid / late 19th century, Maronite Patriarch in 1889 decided that pastoral ministry among the Lebanese Christians in Sydney will be established. In this regard, the Maronite priests Abdallah Yazbeck and Joseph Dahdah were to work for the Diaspora's community in Sydney and reached on 8 May 1893 the Sydney's port. They set up in 1894 a Maronite chapel in the Waterloo district and served until 1897, when a new church was inaugurated by the then Cardinal Moran on January 10, 1897, for the service of the Maronites. Pastor Abdallah Yazbeck died in 1933 in Sydney, and priest Joseph Dahdah died after his return to Lebanon in 1936.

Twentieth century[edit]

Priest Abdallah Assaf was the successor and was the Maronite pastor until 1960. Assaf was replaced by Chukrallah Harb in 1961 until his return in 1963 to the Vatican City. In the district of Redfern's Saint Maron Church served all Maronite Catholics for 70 years until the Maronites of the community settled in other centers as Parramatta. The community continued to grow at remarkable. The Maronite Patriarch named Reverend Peter Ziade to continue the Priest Harb's pastoral ministry in 1963. He was assisted by Priest Trad. From 1963 to 1965, the church of Saint Maron was built. In addition, a town hall, municipal school, a rectory in the district of Redfern was built also in 1965. The Congregation of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family established their missionary work in 1968. A piece of land of Harris Park in Sydney with a community hall was built and the foundation stone for the Church of Our Lady of Lebanon was laid in 1970. Pastor Ziade helped to establish a Lebanese monastic order in Sydney and participated in the founding of the diocese in Australia.

The eparchy was erected on June 25, 1973 by Pope Paul VI's bull Illo fretis Councils.[5] and in October 1973 Archbishop (pro hac vice) Ignace Abdo Khalifé in Rome was established as Eparchy of the newly Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron in Sydney. His duties were also the organization and establishment of additional Maronite eparchies in Australia and request help from other priests. The first priests who had answered the bishop's ask for help were Michal Boumelhem, Youseff Touma, Antoun Shalhoub and Nakhle Akiki. During their joint, 18-year pastoral ministry for the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron in Sydney the Maronite Catholic Church of the Lady of Lebanon was opened in 1978. After that, Eparch Khalife built the Church of the Saint Joseph in the district of Croydon and the Saint George in Thornleigh. This was followed by the acquisition of land for the bishopric in Strathfield district and the establishment of Antonine Sisters in Melbourne in 1981. In addition to the establishment of the Home of Our Lady of Lebanon, in Harris Park, Eparch Khalifé ordered the acquisition of land for the construction of the Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Wollongong, New South Wales. It also followed the acquisition of land for the construction of two houses near the church of Our Lady in Harris Park. Eparch Khalife ended his mission in 1991 and was replaced by Eparch Joseph Hitti.

Bishop Hitti took over the diocese on March 4, 1991. Under his leadership, the Maronite community continues to grow. In 1993, the Congregation of Maronite Missionaries welcomed by parish priest Sarkis Charbel founded then their pastoral mission in Sydney. The kindergarten facility in Belmore was inaugurated. The authorization for the acquisition of land for the establishment of a parent company for the Maronite nuns in Dulwich Hill has been permitted. Under Bishop Hitti, the Lebanese Our Lady of Lebanon University and the Saint Charbel high school were inaugurated. The Antonius monks were invited to Melbourne to begin their missionary work among the Maronite faithful. They accepted the invitation and came to Australia in December 1997. The inauguration of the newly established Secretariat in Strathfield was blessed by Bishop Hitti.[6]

Bishop Ad Abi Karam was formally installed in office on 8 February 2002. He was the third Maronite Bishop of Australia.

On 17 April 2013 Eparch Anthony Tarabay replaced Karam and became the fourth Eparch of the Maronites in Australia.

Episcopal ordinaries[edit]

The following individuals have been elected as Maronite Eparch of Saint Maron:[7]

Order Name Title Date enthroned Reign ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 Ignace Abdo Khalifé, S.J. Archbishop-bishop of St Maron of Sydney (Maronite) 25 June 1973 23 November 1990 17 years, 151 days Retired and appointed Bishop Emeritus of St Maroun of Sydney
2 Joseph Hitti Bishop of St Maron of Sydney (Maronite) 23 November 1990 26 October 2001 10 years, 337 days Retired and appointed Bishop Emeritus of St Maroun of Sydney
3 Ad Abi Karam Bishop of St Maron of Sydney (Maronite) 26 October 2001 17 April 2013 11 years, 173 days Retired and appointed Bishop Emeritus of St Maroun of Sydney
3 Anthony Tarabay, OLM Bishop of St Maron of Sydney (Maronite) 17 April 2013 present 5 years, 184 days n/a

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ maronite-heritage
  5. ^, AAS 65 (1973), p. 486
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Eparchy of Saint Maron of Sydney (Maronite)". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.

External links[edit]