Diocesan News

Lebanese Bishop to Visit Lincoln April 10

LINCOLN (SNR) - Archbishop Cyril (Bustros), Eparch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States, will make his first pastoral visit to Nebraska April 11.

He will celebrate the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Sunday at 10 a.m. in St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at 3330 N. 13th St., Lincoln, followed by a reception. At the reception, the archbishop will speak about the Melkite Church and the state of the Church in the Middle East, providing Nebraskans the unique opportunity to hear firsthand about the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

Prior to the liturgy, Archbishop Cyril will baptize and chrismate Tomas Antonio Carnazzo. During the Divine Liturgy, Tomas will receive his first Communion. Archbishop Cyril will be accompanied by Archimandrite Joseph Francavilla and Proto-Deacon David Baroody of Holy Transfiguration in McLean, Va.

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church, with origins in the Near East, is one of 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome. The Church traces its roots to the Patriarchate of Antioch, where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. It is Byzantine in its liturgical, spiritual and theological patrimony. The Melkite Church is based in Damascus, Syria and has about 1.3 million members worldwide. The Community in Lincoln was formed in 2007.

Archbishop Cyril is a member of the International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, and of the Standing Conference of American-Middle Eastern Christian and Muslim Religious Leaders.

Archbishop Cyril was born at Ain-Borday, near Baalbeck in Lebanon January 26, 1939. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Society of the Missionaries of St. Paul June 29, 1962. From 1962-70, he was a professor of classical Greek and French literature at the Minor Seminary and professor of philosophy and theology at St. Paul Institute in Harissa from 1972-74. He pursued a doctorate of theology at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and received his degree in 1976. For 11 years, he was director of the St. Paul Institute of Philosophy and of Theology of the Paulist Missionaries at Harissa, and at the same time professor at St. Joseph University in Beirut, and in various lay centers.

In 1988 the Holy Synod of the Melkite Church elected him Archbishop of Baalbeck. He was ordained to the episcopate November 27, 1988, in the Basilica of St. Paul in Harissa, by Patriarch Maximos V (Hakim), then Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem. He was appointed to lead the Melkite Catholic Church in the United States June 22, 2004. He was enthroned as Eparch of Newton, Mass. at Annunciation Cathedral August 18, 2004.

More information about the local Melkite community is available at melkitenebraska.blogspot.com.

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