August 25, 2011

Enthronement of the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas J. Samra as Eparch of the Diocese of Newton

Bishop Nicholas J. Samra's Enthronement
August 23, 2011
All the Bishops in Attendance
Bishop Nicholas - 9th from the left
Bishop Cyril Bustros - 10th from the left

The Enthronement of Bishop Nicholas J. Samra, as Eparch of the Eparchy of Newton (MA), was beautiful.  It took place at Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Greek Catholic Cathedral in West Roxbury, MA, on August 23, 2011, the Closing of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.

There were three parts to this two-hour-plus gathering:  The Enthronement Ceremony, Divine Liturgy, and a photo session.  Visiting clergy sat in numerous pews up front on the right side.  I sat immediately behind them and was in 7th Heaven.  With all those male voices chanting together throughout the Liturgy, it was a powerful experience.

In the enthronement ceremony, Bishop Nicholas proceeded up and down the aisles in the nave, ending up front and center, where he was disrobed of his old vestments, and dressed by one of the other clergy in his new vestments, pectoral cross, etc.  This is one of the draws for me to the Eastern Catholic Church.  They are visceral,  hands on, in their undertakings.  The material world combines with the spiritual world and I'm in Heaven on Earth.  The dressing of Bishop Nicholas was so real.  It took quite a bit of time, and they allowed it to.  Our restlessness was overridden by the reality of dressing in all that garb.

Divine Liturgy came next and it was the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom  The laity received Communion in the nave, while the clergy circled around back and down the left aisle to receive Communion in the sanctuary.  Again, I have to say that the chanting was uplifting and powerful.  Several times, I stopped chanting myself and just listened to everyone else.
Bishop Nicholas J. Samra's Enthronement
August 23, 2011
Bishop Nicholas Samra with the Deacons in attendance
Bishop Samra - 11th from the left

Divine Liturgy was followed by picture taking.  I could not get photos during the ceremony because it was quite crowded (although, I still wish that more people attended).  I was glad to get some photos at the end - the Bishop with all the other bishops, the Bishop with all the priests, and the Bishop with all the deacons.  I unofficially heard that every priest from the Eparch was there.

As for Bishop Nicholas' charism, he has a great devotion to Mary, as was apparent in his homily, as well as in the fact that, he chose a Feast associated with the Dormition of the Theotokos for his enthronement.

05-Sep-2011:  St. Ann Melkite Church in Danbury, CT has several more photos of this event on their Facebook Page.  Click here

image - personal photos, also uploaded to Facebook at


Anonymous said...

In the photo of the hierarchy, the following are the hierarchs (or their representatives) starting at the left of the photo. (Other than the Metropolitan Archbishop of Hartford, I can't identify the Latin hierarchs individually and don't have a roster of them at hand right now to even name all of them.):

Vladyka Paul (Chomnycky) OSBM, Eparch of Stamford of the Ukrainians;
Vladyka Basil (Losten), Emeritus Eparch of Stamford of the Ukrainians;
Mar Barnaba (Habash), Eparch of Our Lady of Deliverance in Newark of the Syriacs;
Chorbishop Michael (Kail), representing Sayednah Robert (Shaheen), Eparch of Our Lady of Lebanon in Los Angeles of the Maronites;
Very Reverend Eugene (Yackanich), Administrator sede vacante of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh of the Byzantines;
Sayedna Gregory (Mansour), Eparch of St Maron in Brooklyn of the Maronites;
Latin bishop;
Behind the Latin bishop, with only a small segment of his crown visible, is (I think) Vladyka John (Kudrick), Eparch of Parma of the Byzantines;
Sayedna Ibrahim M (Ibrahim), BSO, Eparch of Saint Saviour in Montreal of the Melkites;
Sayedna John (Elya), BSO, Eparch Emeritus of Newton of the Melkites;
Sayedna Nicholas (Samra), Eparch of Newton of the Melkites;
Sayedna Cyril Salim (Bustros), SMSP, Metropolitan Archeparch of Beirut & Jbeil of the Melkites, representing His Beatitude Gregory III (Laham), BSO, Patriarch of Antioch & Alexandria, of All the East & of Jerusalem;
Kyr John Michael (Botean), Eparch of St George in Canton of the Romanians;
a Latin bishop;
His Excellency Henry Mansell, Metropolitan Archbishop of Hartford (CT) of the Latins;
a Latin bishop;
Vladyka William (Skurla), Administrator sede vacante of the Byzantine Metropolia of Pittsburgh and Eparch of Passaic of the Byzantines;
To the right of Vladyka William and behind him are other Latin and Eastern hierarchs, who can't be made out individually - those would/should include:
Vladyka Gerald (Dino), Eparch of Holy Protection of Mary in Phoenix of the Byzantines;
Mar Ibrahim N (Ibrahim), Eparch of St Thomas the Apostle in Detroit of the Chaldeans;
Chorbishop Michael (Kail), representing Sayednah Robert (Shaheen), Eparch of Our Lady of Lebanon in Los Angeles of the Maronites; and,
Right Reverend Monsignor Jean-Francois Lantheaume, Charge d'affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature, representing His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Anonymous said...

The second photo on the blog, is one taken with the deacons of the eparchy who were present. I'm not even going to try and name most of them, because there are too many whom I only know by sight.

But, to Sayedna Nicholas' left (as you view the photo), vested, are:

Deacon John Moses of the Melkite Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation;
Deacon Paul Leonarczyk of Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Church, Maanchester (NH) and Eparchial Director of Communicatiions; and,
Deacon Thomas Burke (bearded, wearing glasses, and with his vesture partially visible) of the Melkite Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation;

Second to Sayedna's right (again, as you view the photo) is:

Deacon Ibrahim Zeinieh of the Melkite Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation (only his head and a portion of his vestment are visible);

Immediately in front of Deacon Ibrahim is Archdeacon George Yanni of St Basil the Great Melkite Church, Lincoln (RI) (bearded, and wearing glasses). Archdeacon George was the first deacon ordained to the service of the Melkite Exarchate by Sayedna Justin (Najmy), BAO, of blessed memory.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for the additional detail. Wonderful!