Bishop Emeritus, Robert J. Shaheen
- Robert Joseph Shaheen
- Born: June 3, 1937, Danbury, Connecticut
- Oldest of four sons: Richard(deceased), William and John
- Parents: Albert(deceased) and Aileen(deceased)
Education and Formation
- St. Peter Grammar School, Danbury, Connecticut
- Danbury Public High School, Danbury, Connecticut
- 1955: Entered St. Thomas (Latin rite) Seminary, Bloomfield, Connecticut.
- 1958: Transferred to St. Basil (Eastern Catholic) Seminary, Methuen, Massachusetts, while attending classes at St.Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire.
- 1961: Enrolled in new Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C. one of the first four seminarians. Attended classes at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
- October 2, 1962: Ordained subdeacon by Archbishop Anthony Khoraiche (during the pastoral visit of Patriarch Paul Peter Meouchi)
- June 7, 1963: Ordained deacon
- May 2, 1964: Ordained priest by Bishop Francis M. Zayek (Bishop of the Maronites of Brazil) in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the first Maronite Convention in the United States.
- September 1978: Ordained Archpriest by Bishop Zayek.
- March 31, 1986: Ordained Chorbishop by Archbishop Zayek.
- 1964-1965: Associate, St. Anthony Church, Danbury, Ct.
- October 1965-Spring 1966: Administrator, St. Anthony Church, Springfield, Massachusetts; purchased six acre plot for new Church.
- Spring 1966-January 1967: Administrator, St. Anthony Church, Danbury, Ct.
- January 1967-November 1967: Administrator, St. Raymond Church, St. Louis, Missouri
- November 1967-present: Pastor, St. Raymond Church, St. Louis, Missouri.
Ecclesiastical Honors and Societies:
- 1993: Order of St. Sharbel, perpetual membership
- 1998, September: Admitted to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as Knight Commander with Star.
Eparchial Assignments (initially in the Eparchy of St. Maron USA, and then in the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles)
- Member of Priest Senate
- Member of Eparchial Liturgical Commission
- Member of College of Consultors
- Proto-Presbyter of the MidAmerica Region of Eparchy
- Vice-Chairman of Financial Committee of Eparchy
- Chairman of Eparchial Family Life Office
- Eparchial Advisor for Priests
- Spiritual Director of the Order of St. Sharbel
- At the time of becoming Administrator of St. Raymond, the parish had been without a resident Maronite priest for over twenty years. Bishop-Elect Shaheen led the parish from just a few faithful parishioners using a four family flat to the beautiful, vibrant Maronite Parish of today with some 350-plus active families.
- 1967-1970: Maronite liturgies organized and celebrated on regular basis Developed newsletters, bulletins, fliers; conducted census to identify Maronites in the greater metropolitan area and began inviting them back to St. Raymond.Spiritual and cultural programs, including Maronite religious education classes acquiring of property for expansion.
- 1970: Hosted Maronite Convention (NAM)
- 1971: Kick-off fund drive for new church; numerous fund- raising activities.
- 1975: Dedication of new Church; numerous fund-raising activities.
- 1975: (November) Dedication of new church: “Lest we forget our heritage, we will build our new Church for the coming ages.”
- 1977: (February) New rectory dedicated.
- 1979: (November) Dedication of new parish center “The Cedars”. Besides being a parish hall, “The Cedars” is also a public facility rented to many groups throughout the City; additionally, it is a restaurant on Wednesdays, staffed by parish volunteers and well-known for serving Lebanese lunches to greater St. Louis.
- 1979: (July) Hosted Maronite Convention (NAM)
- 1981: Hosted Patriarch, Anthony Peter Khoraiche
- 1983: Renovation and enlargement of lower level of “The Cedars” as a religious education center.
- 1987: Additional small hall (“Lebanon Room”) added to “The Cedars”
- 1988: Hosted Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir.
- 1991: Purchase of additional property and buildings for future development as a Maronite retire- ment center and cultural center.
- 1995: (July) Hosted Maronite Convention (NAM)
- Today: The parish serves as a center for Arabic-speaking people; A resource for the Latin Archdiocese of St. Louis (for its clergy gatherings and for its many archdiocesan meetings); city gathering site, especially through lunches and banquet hall; Above all: a vibrant and growing Maronite Church witnessing to the catholicity of the Church in all its beauty.
- Numerous public talks and television/radio presentations on the Maronites;
- Numerous awards and recognitions for contribution to the civic community, especially in preserving the La Salle Park neighborhood and committing to the city at a time when many were moving to the suburbs, being an example of how to revitalize an old neighborhood.
- September 1989 received the Daughters of St. Paul “Man of the Year” Award with accompanying recognitions from the Governor, the State Congressman, and the Mayor.
- Doctorate in Humanity from St. Louis University May 14, 2004
- December 5, 2000 Appointed second Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.
- February 15, 2001 Ordained and Enthroned as second Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in St. Louis, MO. at the Basilica of St. Louis by His Eminence, Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir.
- July 10, 2001 Eparchial See officially moved to St. Louis, Mo., St. Raymond’s Church, in St. Louis, MO. named a Cathedral.
- January 1, 2003 Completion of new Maronite Pastoral Center in St. Louis, MO. The Pastoral Center is the new multi purpose facility of the Eparchy.
- 2008-Construction of the Maronite Heritage Institute-adjacent to the Maronite Pastoral Center-St. Louis, MO