Pope appoints young bishop for American Maronites

St. Raymond Cathedral, St. Louis, MO
(CNA)  The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land congratulates Father Abdallah Elias Zaidan!  Zaidan, 50, was appointed July 10 by Pope Francis to replace the well-respected Bishop Robert J. Shaheen as bishop of Our Lady of Lebanon Eparchy.  Zaidan is not only young but speaks six languages as well!

Abdallah Elias Zaidan

David Uebbing, author of an article carried on catholicnewsagency.com enttitled, “Pope gives American Maronites youthful bishop,” reports that Bishop-elect Zaidan will take the reigns of one of only two Maronite eparchies in the United States because at 76, Shaheen has passed the obligatory resignation age of 75 and his resignation has been accepted.

Zaidan will leave his current assignment as rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Brooklyn, relocating to the eparchy’s headquarters at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in St. Louis.  

As noted by Uebbin, 

The Maronite Catholic Church traces its roots to the early Christians of Antioch, the first believers to be called Christian. In fact, the Church still uses Syriac in its liturgy, a dialect of Aramaic, the same language Jesus spoke.

The Church takes its name from the fourth century hermit St. Maron, whose way of life inspired many monks and laity to follow him, eventually resulting in the distinctive Maronite Rite. 

Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon, Brooklyn, NY