Milestone’s in the Life of His Grace
His Grace was born in Damascus in 1924, was raised and educated in its schools and churches in strong Christian faith where his ecclesiastic career began.
He studied theology in Greece and in 1951 was ordained by Patriarch Alexandros III of Antioch on the meat fare Sunday.
Served priesthood for 18 years in Damascus and near by villages, contributed in establishing Catechism and Christian Education. He devoted much of his time to the budding Christian youth.
He achieved director of the Balamand Clerical School in the late 50’s of the last century, where he organised various programmes that were academic, educational, and related to life matters for the student members of the clergy.
In 1964 he attained the leadership St Greoges Monastery by mandate from His Eminence Patriarch Theodosious VI he then commenced organising the monastery, its endowments and peripherals. He also established a small convent within the monastery.
After three years of administrating the monetary, he was appointed by His Eminence Patriarch Theodosious VI as a general Stewart for the Archdioceses of Hama, as well as managing the monastery.
On the 7th of October 1969, he was elected by the Council of Antioch as Bishop for Bagdad, Kuwait and the Arabian Peninsula, He was ordained on the 17th of that month in St Elias Monastery Shwaih in Dhor Al Shwair in The Lebanon.
On the 23rd of October, His Grace made his way to the diocese in, Baghdad where he conducted his first service of Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral Parish of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the only Orthodox Church at the time. He then met with the parish and its officers to launch and advance the Archdiocese and organise it in such a way to ensure flawless pastoral care for its members.
A month later, on the 20th of November, His Grace visited his Kuwait parish. On the following day the celebratory Divine Liturgy service was held at the National Evangelical Church, where Orthodox services were held at that time. After the service he met, with the parishioners and lay down the necessary plans to provide for the parish and secure pastoral care for all.
His Grace’s Pastoral Approach
- A priest or more to serve each Parish
- The parish Priest receives a monthly salary and does not receive any remuneration for any of the Spiritual Services that take place in church.
- The Priest lives in suitable accommodation provided by the parish.
- A car is at his disposable to ensure mobility to serve the parish
- An annual subscription fee is paid by families of the parish instead of the collection plate during liturgical service, hence all the services are done free of charge.
- Parish families failed to meet the commitment of the annual payment therefore, the collection plate had to be resumed.
- His Grace continued establishing Orthodox Church Parishes within the Arabian Gulf for the Arabic community and other nationals. The first was in 1980 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, then in Oman in 1998 and in Bahrain in 2000. Each parish is served by its own priest.
Positions and Authoress and assisted in Publishing
- Secretary to Patriarch Alexandros III
- Balamand School Director
- Director of St Georges Monastery
- General Stewart of the Hama Archdiocese
- Chairman of the Council of the St John of Damascus Theology School
- The Orthodox Daily Vespers Prayer
- Holy Bible – New Testament
- The Daily Orthodox Prayer and some Liturgical Services (being published)