Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton

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Eparchy of Newton (Melkite Greek)

Eparchia Neotoniensis Graecorum Melkitarum
Coat of arms of the Eparchy of Newton.svg
Coat of arms of the Eparchy of Newton
CountryUnited States
Ecclesiastical provinceEastern Catholic Eparchies Immediately Subject to the Holy See
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
DenominationMelkite Greek Catholic Church
RiteByzantine Rite
EstablishedJanuary 10, 1966 (53 years ago)
CathedralAnnunciation Cathedral
Secular priests68
Current leadership
PatriarchYoussef Absi
EparchNicholas James Samra
Bishops emeritusJohn Elya

Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton (in Latin: Eparchia Neotoniensis Graecorum Melkitarum) is an eparchy of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Holy See and therefore part of the worldwide Catholic Church. The eparchy encompasses the entire United States.

The current eparchial bishop, Bishop Nicholas James Samra, was appointed in 2011.


Early immigration[edit]

The first large wave of Melkite immigration from the Middle East to the United States took place in the late 19th century, and the first American Melkite church was established in the 1890s. Because there was no diocesan structure for Melkites in the United States at the time, Melkite parishes were each under the jurisdiction of the local Latin-rite diocesan bishop.[1]

Apostolic exarchate[edit]

As the Melkite presence in the United States reached 70 years, the Holy See erected an apostolic exarchate on January 10, 1966 to serve the needs of Melkite Catholics in the country, with the title Apostolic Exarchate of United States of America, Faithful of the Oriental Rite (Melkite).[2] Archmandrite Justin Najmy (1898–1968), pastor of St. Basil the Great Church in Central Falls, Rhode Island, was designated as the first Exarch by Pope Paul VI on January 27, 1966.[3]

The appointment of Najmy as exarch at first drew protest from the Melkite patriarch Maximos IV, because he and the Synod of the Melkite Church had chosen a different candidate, and the appointment, decided by the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Churches, made the new Exarch subject to the Holy See, and only responsible to the Patriarch and the Synod in liturgical matters.[4]

After Bishop Najmy's death in 1968, controversy about the appointment of Melkite bishops in the United States resumed. Patriarch Maximos V appointed an administrator for the exarchate, against the wishes of the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Churches, and he and the Synod contended that the Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Churches had cancelled previous church law, under which appointments were made exclusively by the Pope. Archbishop Joseph Tawil, the Patriarchal Vicar of Damascus, was appointed Najmy's successor in October 1969, in a procedure the Patriarch described as a compromise.[4]


On June 28, 1976, the Exarchate was elevated to the status of an eparchy.[3][5] with the title Eparchy of Newton, and Archbishop Tawil became the first Eparch.


Annunciation Cathedral

The seat of the Eparchy is Our Lady of the Annunciation Cathedral in the West Roxbury section of Boston. The Eparchy is named for the Boston suburb of Newton, where its offices and the bishop's residence were formerly located. In 2015, Pope Francis designated Saint Anne Church in Los Angeles as a co-cathedral.[6]

The eparchy has jurisdiction over all the Melkite faithful in the United States, and there are parishes in twenty states. In 2013 there were 24,000 Melkite Catholics in 43 parishes.

According to a research study published in Sociology of Religion, there were approximately 120,000 Melkites residing in the country in 1986,[7] although only about 24,000 were formally enrolled in Melkite parishes.[8]

Seminary program[edit]

In 1975, Archbishop Tawil founded a seminary program for the eparchy, after the Basilian Salvatorian Fathers closed their program in Methuen. Students received instruction from clergy of the eparchy and also from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. The next year the eparchy purchased a house in Newton Centre, Massachusetts as a residence for its seminarians, and named it St. Gregory Seminary.[9] The seminary building was destroyed by fire in approximately 2000.

Seminarians are now trained at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh.

Following ancient Christian tradition the eparchy counts among its clergy both celibate and married priests and deacons.[10]

Lay organizations[edit]

Bishop Ignatius Ghattas founded the Order of Saint Nicholas in 1991, a regional lay order attached to the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton.[11]



  1. Bishop Justin Abraham Najmy (January 27, 1966–June 11, 1968); Exarch
  2. Archbishop Joseph Tawil (October 30, 1969–December 2, 1989); Exarch until June 1976; then Eparch
  3. Bishop Ignatius Ghattas (February 23, 1990–October 11, 1992)
  4. Bishop John Elya (November 25, 1993–June 22, 2004)
  5. Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros (June 22, 2004–June 15, 2011)
  6. Bishop Nicholas James Samra (appointed Auxiliary Bishop April 21, 1989; retired 2005; appointed Eparch June 15, 2011)

Other priest of this eparchy who became bishop[edit]

Other notable priests[edit]

Parish locator[edit]

Parish City State Website
St. Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Mission Seattle WA St. Joseph Seattle Website
St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church Birmingham AL St. George Birmingham Website
St. John of the Desert Melkite Greek Catholic Church Phoenix AZ St. John of the Desert Phoenix Website
Annunciation Melkite Greek Catholic Cathedral West Roxbury MA Annunciation Cathedral Roxbury Website
Annunciation Melkite Greek Catholic Mission Covina CA Annunciation Covina Website
St. Barbara Melkite Greek Catholic Mission Houston TX Saint Barbara Houston Website
Holy Cross Melkite Greek Catholic Church Placentia CA Holy Cross Placentia Website
St. Anne Melkite Greek Catholic Church North Hollywood CA St. Anne North Hollywood Website
Melkite Greek Catholic Community of Lincoln Lincoln NE Community of Lincoln Website
St. Elias Melkite Greek Catholic Church San Jose CA St. Elias San Jose Website
St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church Sacramento CA St. George Sacramento Website
Virgin Mary Melkite Greek Catholic Church Temecula CA
St. Phillip the Apostle Melkite Greek Catholic Church San Bernardino CA
St. Paul Melkite Greek Catholic Church El Segundo CA St. Paul El Segundo Website
St. John the Theologian Melkite Greek Catholic-former church Oakland CA
St. Jacob Mission Melkite Greek Catholic Church El Cajon CA St. Jacob El Cajon Website
St. Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church Danbury CT St. Ann Danbury Website
St. Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church Waterford CT St. Ann Waterford Website
St. Jude Melkite Greek Catholic Church Miami FL [ St. Jude Miami Website
St. Nicholas Melkite Greek Catholic Church Delray Beach FL St. Nicholas Delray Beach Website
St. Ignatios of Antioch Melkite Greek Catholic Church Augusta GA St. Ignatios of Antioch Augusta Website
St. John Chrysostom Melkite Greek Catholic Church Atlanta GA St. John Chrysostom Atlanta Website
St. John the Baptist Melkite Greek Catholic Church Northlake IL St. John the Baptist Northlake Website
St. John of Damascus Melkite Greek Catholic Church-Former Church South Bend IN
St. Michael the Archangel Melkite Greek Catholic Church Hammond IN
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Melkite Greek Catholic Church Worcester MA
St. Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Church Lawrence MA St. Joseph Lawrence Website
Our Lady of Redemption Melkite Greek Catholic Church Warren MI Our Lady of Redemption Warren Website
St. Joseph the Betrothed Melkite Greek Catholic Church Lansing MI
St. Michael Melkite Greek Catholic Church Plymouth MI
Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Greek Catholic Church Manchester NH Our Lady of the Cedars Manchester Website
St. Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church Woodland Park NJ St. Ann Woodland Park Website
St. Demetrius Melkite Greek Catholic Church Cliffside Park NJ
Christ the Savior Melkite Greek Catholic Church Yonkers NY
Virgin Mary Melkite Greek Catholic Church Brooklyn NY Virgin Mary Brooklyn Website
St. Basil Melkite Greek Catholic Church Utica NY St. Basil Utica Website
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Melkite Greek Catholic Church Rochester NY
Holy Resurrection Melkite Greek Catholic Church Columbus OH Holy Resurrection Columbus Website
Holy Trinity Melkite Greek Catholic Church Zanesville OH Holy Trinity Zanesville Website
St. Elias Melkite Greek Catholic Church Cleveland OH St. Elias Cleveland Website
St. Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Church Akron OH
St. Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Church Scranton PA St. Joseph Scranton Website
St. Basil the Great Melkite Greek Catholic Church Lincoln RI St. Basil Lincoln Website
St. Elias Melkite Greek Catholic Church-Former Woonsocket RI
Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church McLean VA Holy Transfiguration McLean Website
Southern Orange Country Area Greek Melkite Catholics at Saint Kilian’s Church Mission Viejo CA
St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church Milwaukee WI St. George Milwaukee Website

Religious orders[edit]

There is a community of the Basilian Salvatorian Order in Methuen, Massachusetts. A community of religious sisters, the Community of the Mother of God of Tenderness, is based in Danbury, Connecticut.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Macke, Beth (Winter 1993). "Melkite Catholics in the United States". Sociology of Religion. The Association for the Sociology of Religion. 54 (4): 414. doi:10.2307/3711783. ISSN 1069-4404. JSTOR 3711783.
  2. ^, AAS 58 (1966), n. 8, S. 563f.
  3. ^ a b Cheney, David. "Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston) (Melkite)". Catholic Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  4. ^ a b Philip A. Khairallah (1986). "The Ecumenical Vocation of the Melkite Church" (PDF). St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly. 30 (3): 197–206. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "For Melkite Catholics, a new co-cathedral in Los Angeles". Georgia Bulletin. June 25, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Macke, Beth (Winter 1993). "Melkite Catholics in the United States". Sociology of Religion. The Association for the Sociology of Religion. 54 (4): 413–420. doi:10.2307/3711783. ISSN 1069-4404. JSTOR 3711783.
  8. ^ Niebuhr, Gustav (February 16, 1997). "Bishop's Quiet Action Allows Priest Both Flock and Family". The New York Times. p. 1.
  9. ^ Mark Melone (Summer 2012). "Archimandrite Charles Aboody Celebrates 50 Years of Priestly Ministry" (PDF): 4–5. Retrieved August 13, 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Ignatius, William (November 13, 2001). "Melkite Catholic Church to Ordain Married Men to the Priesthood in the US". Catholic Online.
  11. ^ "» the Order of St. Nicholas".
  12. ^ Blessed are the Peacemakers by Michael Battle, pg 181
  13. ^ Child's Close Call Aided Nun's Way To Sainthood by LAURIE GOODSTEIN Published in The New York Times of October 11, 1998

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°17′51.03″N 71°08′03.7″W / 42.2975083°N 71.134361°W / 42.2975083; -71.134361