Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles

Address: 1021 S. 10th St., St. Louis, MO 63104
Tel.: 314.231.1021
Fax.: 314.231.1418

Mission Statement:

The Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles is that portion of God’s People entrusted to the pastoral care of the Bishop with the cooperation of the Presbyterate. The People of God are gathered by and around the Bishop in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist. The Eparchy is a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. Under the loving patronage of Our Lady of Lebanon, the Eparchy accepts its mission:

To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To collaborate in unity and in faith with the Maronite Church under the guidance of the Maronite Patriarch and in communion with the Holy Father.
To preserve and strengthen Maronite parishes and missions and to establish new missions within its jurisdiction.
To promote an understanding of the Maronite Church among its sister Catholic Churches in the United States.
To serve as a bridge between East and West, working tirelessly for the full union of the Church.
To respect and speak out for the dignity of human life while denouncing injustice and violations of human rights and the dignity of the human person.

Mar Bechara Peter Rai in St. Louis, MO

His Beatitude's Historical Visil to his Maronite Flock in the United States of America
His Beatitude's Historical Visil to his Maronite Flock in the United States of America

Eparchial Assignments


Msgr. William Bonczewski, pastor of St. Jude Maronite Church, Murray , UT, is assigned pastor, of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church, Wheeling, WV.

Rev. Armando Elkhoury, pastor of St. Rafka Maronite Church, Lakewood, CO, is relieved of pastoral duties to pursue higher studies in Syriac. He will be residing at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary, Washington, DC. Rev. Armando Elkhoury has also been appointed as the Eparchial Webmaster

Rev. Bakhos Chidiac, pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church, Wheeling, WV, is assigned as pastor at St. Rafka Maronite Church, Lakewood, CO

Chorbishop William Leser is assigned to St. Jude Maronite Church, Murray, UT, as temporary administrator.

All of the above assignments were effective on September 6, 2011

Dedication of the Maronite Heritage Institute

Divine Liturgy in thanksgiving for the Maronite Heritage Center

The formal Dedication of the Maronite Heritage Institute took place the week-end of May 19 -22, 2011. Thursday, May 19th was Clergy Day. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Raymond’s Cathedral with a reception following at the Pastoral Center. Many Clergy came from far and wide to celebrate this special occasion.

On Friday, May 20th conferences took place all day followed by the Liturgy and the Blessing of the Maronite Heritage Institute. Bishop Robert Shaheen and Bishop Gregory Mansour celebrated the Liturgy along with Father Gary George, Rector of St. Raymond’s Cathedral, and all the visiting Clergy. Over a hundred people, including those from out-of-town, as well as members of NAM, witnessed this historic event. After the Blessing, a cocktail reception was held.

On Saturday, May 21st a Grand Banquet was held in the Cedars Banquet Center. Over three hundred guests were treated to an elegant meal, wonderful music and exciting entertainment. The dance floor was filled to capacity all evening with celebrating guests, young and old, enjoying the Dabkee.

On Sunday, May 22nd the Closing took place celebrated by the Divine Liturgy followed by lunch at the Cedars Banquet Center.

The Maronite Heritage Institute will be a center for education, research and preservation. The Institute provides us with the information we need to learn more about the cultures of our ancestors and to pass this knowledge on to future generations. The MHI consists of a museum, a library/resource center for Eastern Culture and an auditorium and audio visual center. The MHI will be used for recollection, seminars, religious retreats, social gatherings and workshops.

New Stewardship Director Announcement


John F. Kurey, Esq., MBA, has joined the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon as its Stewardship Director.  Mr. Kurey was hired by Bishop Robert Shaheen upon the recommendation of Bishop Gregory Mansour, the Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.  Mr. Kurey currently serves as the Stewardship Director of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.  Beginning on June 1, he will serve as the Stewardship Director for both Maronite Eparchies in America concurrently. 

Mr. Kurey is a lawyer and has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.  He has served other Catholic institutions well in areas such as strategic planning, financial management, and fundraising.  He looks forward to serving the Maronite faithful and to helping the Eparchies meet their current and future needs. 

Mr. Kurey can he reached by telephone at the Chancery in St. Louis at 314-231-1021, at the Chancery in Brooklyn at 718-237-9913, and by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  


Dedication of the Maronite Heritage Institute (MHI)


Father Gary George was appointed director of the Maronite Heritage Institute. Celebrations are this weekend in St. Louis.

The Maronite Heritage Institute is intended to be the world’s premier house of preservation, education and outreach for maintaining and strengthening the Maronite identity in the United States and other countries.

Maronite Heritage Institute

Archbishop Zayek (the First Maronite Bishop of the United States) - Obituary


14 September 2010

Reverend and Dear Monsignors and Fathers,

We just received the sad news that Archbishop Francis M. Zayek passed away today, September 14, 2010, in Lebanon.

Archbishop Zayek - 1st Maronite Bishop for the United States

Archbishop Zayek was born on October 18, 1920, the son of Mansour and Mariam (Khoury) Zayek in Manzanillo, Cuba. In 1931, the family immigrated to Lebanon.

After seminary studies in Lebanon and in Rome, he was ordained a priest in Rome on March 17, 1946. After completing a doctorate in canon law in Rome, he was appointed to serve the Maronite community in Cairo where he also worked in the Apostolic Nunciature. He later returned to Rome and served as the Promoter of Justice at the Roman Rota.

On May 31, 1962, Pope John XXIII appointed him to serve the Maronites in Brazil, and he was consecrated a bishop on August 5, 1962 in Dimane, Lebanon, by Patriarch Paul Peter Meouchi.

Archbishop Zayek was one of the last surviving bishops who attended all of the all sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a bishop.

On January 10, 1966, Pope Paul VI established the Maronite Apostolic Exarchate in the United States and appointed Bishop Zayek as the first Exarch. He was installed on June 11, 1966 in Detroit, MI, where he was to establish his See.

Pope Paul VI raised the Exarchate to the rank of Diocese or Eparchy on November 20, 1971, and he appointed Bishop Zayek as the first bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maron, for all Maronites of the United States. He was installed as such on June 4, 1972. (The See was moved to Brooklyn, NY, in 1977.)

In recognition of his pioneering work in the United States, he was given the personal title of Archbishop by Pope John Paul II on December 10, 1982.

Upon reaching the canonical age, Archbishop Zayek retired in 1996.

Archbishop Zayek was predeceased by two brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his brother, Elias, in Brazil, and his sister, Lydia, in Lebanon, and several nieces and nephews.

A Forty Day Divine Liturgy is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27, 2010, at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 109 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY, at 7:00 p.m. A Meal of Mercy will follow in the Cathedral hall. All clergy, religious and laity are invited to attend to pay tribute to this true Churchman and to pray for the repose of his soul.

The Maronite Church in the United States is deeply indebted to this great man for his zealous efforts in establishing the strong, vibrant Maronite community we have today. May Archbishop Zayek share in the glory of the Cross which we celebrate this day!

We extend our profound condolences to the family of Archbishop Zayek, and to all who loved him, and assure them of our prayers. May he rest in peace.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Chorbishop Michael G. Thomas,
Vicar General

Maronite Parishes In the United States