Nicholas Samra

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His Grace, The Most Reverend
Nicholas Samra
Eparch of Newton
Bishop Nicholas Samra.jpg
Bishop Nicholas delivering a homily during a Memorial Service a Ukrainian Catholic Church in 2008.
Church Melkite Greek Catholic
See Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton
In office August 23, 2011 —
Predecessor Cyril Salim Bustros
Ordination May 10, 1970
by Archbishop Joseph Elias Tawil
Consecration July 6, 1989
by Archbishop Joseph Elias Tawil and Co-Consecraters Archbishop Michel Hakim, B.S. and Archbishop Boutros (Pierre) Raï, B.A.
Personal details
Born August 15, 1944
Paterson, New Jersey

Nicholas Samra (born August 15, 1944) is the eparch of the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton in the United States, elected in 2011. He is also Apostolic Administrator of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Nuestra Señora del Paraíso in Mexico City since 2015. Bishop Samra has written extensively on the subject of ecumenism and the Eastern Catholic Churches.


Early life and priesthood[edit]

Samra was born in Paterson, New Jersey to George H. Samra and Elizabeth Balady Samra. His grandparents and his father were immigrants to the United States from Aleppo, Syria. He was ordained a priest for the Eparchy of Newton on May 10, 1970 and served as a pastor in Melkite parishes in Los Angeles, Chicago and New Jersey. Bishop Samra earned the B.A. at Saint Anselm College, Goffstown, New Hampshire, and a B.D. from St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.


On April 21, 1989, Pope John Paul II appointed Samra Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Newton and Titular Bishop of Gerasa. Archbishop Joseph Tawil consecrated and installed him on July 6 of that year.

Bishop Nicholas Samra at Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral, January 2012

Samra served as Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus until he retired on January 11, 2005 to devote himself to scholarly work.[1]

In June 2011, the Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church nominated him as Eparch of Newton to succeed Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, and Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the position on June 15, 2011.[2][3]

On Friday, January 16, 2015, he was appointed by Pope Francis to serve also as Apostolic Administrator of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Nuestra Señora del Paraíso in Mexico City, following the death of the former eparch, pending the appointment of a permanent successor.[4]

Scholarly Work[edit]

In October 2014, Samra presented "Eastern Catholicism in the Middle East Fifty Years after Orientalium ecclesiarum" at the conference "The Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches, Orientalium ecclesiarum - Fifty Years Later" organized by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies held at the University of Toronto.[5]

An active speaker and author, Samra has written extensively on the subject of ecumenism, Christian leadership and stewardship. He has also published a multi-volume history of the Melkite Church and a book on the legacy of Archbishop Joseph Tawil.

Other activities[edit]

Bishop Samra is the past president of the Eastern Catholic Association of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


  1. ^ Catholic News Service (January 13, 2005). "Melkite Bishop Nicholas Samra retires". The Georgia Bulletin. 
  2. ^ Robert M. O'Grady (June 24, 2011). "New bishop named for Melkite Catholics". The Boston Pilot. 
  3. ^ "Bishop Nicholas James Samra". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 16.01.2015" (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. January 16, 2015. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]