Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton
Eparchy of Newton (Melkite Greek)
Eparchia Neotoniensis Graecorum Melkitarum
Coat of arms of the Eparchy of Newton
|Ecclesiastical province||Eastern Catholic Eparchies Immediately Subject to the Holy See|
|(as of 2013)|
|Denomination||Melkite Greek Catholic Church|
|Established||January 10, 1966 (53 years ago)|
|Eparch||Nicholas James Samra|
|Bishops emeritus||John 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.
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.
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). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, although only about 24,000 were formally enrolled in Melkite parishes.
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. 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.
|Part of a series on|
- Bishop Justin Abraham Najmy (January 27, 1966–June 11, 1968); Exarch
- Archbishop Joseph Tawil (October 30, 1969–December 2, 1989); Exarch until June 1976; then Eparch
- Bishop Ignatius Ghattas (February 23, 1990–October 11, 1992)
- Bishop John Elya (November 25, 1993–June 22, 2004)
- Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros (June 22, 2004–June 15, 2011)
- 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
- Giorgio Demetrio Gallaro, appointed Bishop of Piana degli Albanesi (Italo-Albanese), Italy in 2015
Other notable priests
- Rev. George Bisharat, retired priest who formed Annunciation Mission, Covina, CA, Eparchy of Newton.
- Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, Advocate for peace and non-violence.
- 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.
- vatican.va, AAS 58 (1966), n. 8, S. 563f.
- Cheney, David. "Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston) (Melkite)". Catholic Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- 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.
- "For Melkite Catholics, a new co-cathedral in Los Angeles". Georgia Bulletin. June 25, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- 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.
- Niebuhr, Gustav (February 16, 1997). "Bishop's Quiet Action Allows Priest Both Flock and Family". The New York Times. p. 1.
- Mark Melone (Summer 2012). "Archimandrite Charles Aboody Celebrates 50 Years of Priestly Ministry" (PDF): 4–5. Retrieved August 13, 2016. Cite journal requires
- Ignatius, William (November 13, 2001). "Melkite Catholic Church to Ordain Married Men to the Priesthood in the US". Catholic Online.
- "» the Order of St. Nicholas".
- Blessed are the Peacemakers by Michael Battle, pg 181
- Child's Close Call Aided Nun's Way To Sainthood by LAURIE GOODSTEIN Published in The New York Times of October 11, 1998
- Official website
- Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral
- Catholic-Hierarchy entry on the Eparchy of Newton
- Official site of the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch
- 1966 document founding the Exarchate
- Description of the eparchy in gcatholic.org
- Sample of Melkite Chant in English, Arabic, and Greek