Our Clergy and Staff


Father Pierre El Khoury, MLM

Priest of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries. Served the Maronite community for 1 year in Argentina, then served in Houston, now here.

Born in Lebanon

Fluent in Arabic, Spanish, and English

George Romanos, Deacon
Deacon

Born in Lebanon

Fluent in Arabic and English

Thomas Podraza, Subdeacon

Subdeacon Tom was born and raised in Chicago. He has been a parishioner for more than 40 years and is married with 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He found Our Lady of Lebanon church while on a Saturday bike ride and started attending the liturgy regularly. He changed rites from Roman to Maronite because he was greatly impressed by the Maronite Church's traditions and spirituality. He served on the parish council, as an usher, and as a parish administrator until he was ordained subdeacon on February 15, 2015. He continues to serve at our 9:30am liturgy.

Danny Tabet, Seminarian

We are very blessed to announce that we have a seminarian from our parish. Born in Chicago and raised in Skokie, IL, Danny Tabet is an accepted seminarian at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington DC. He is currently a student at Loyola University Chicago and after graduating in 2023, he will move into the seminary to continue pursuing his vocation. Please keep him in your prayers.


Our Bishop (Compiled by Sarah Gabriel, Assistant Archivist at the Eparchy)

Bishop A. Elias Zaidan is the third and youngest Bishop to lead the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles. Appointed when he was just 50 years old, Bishop Zaidan has brought a unique perspective to his role as Bishop. He has made great strides both in his earlier priesthood and his tenure as Bishop and commands the respect of laity and clergy.


Bishop Elias Zaidan was born in Ksseibe, Lebanon, on March 10, 1963. He professed his Perpetual Vows as a member of the Congregation of the Lebanese Maronite Missionaries on September 26, 1984 and was ordained a priest two years later on July 20, 1986 by Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in Harissa, Lebanon. During his preparations for the priesthood, Bishop Zaidan earned licentiate in theology and philosophy. After two years serving as Assistant Rector of the Minor Seminary of the Congregation of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries and teaching religious education in local Catholic schools, Bishop Zaidan was transferred to the United States, where he served as Assistant Rector at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. While in Brooklyn, Bishop Zaidan received a Master’s Degree in Education from St. John’s University.


In January 1990, Bishop Zaidan became the Pastor of St. George Maronite Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. After four and a half years in Texas, he was reassigned to Los Angeles, California, where he served as the first Rector of Our Lady of Mt. Lebanon-St. Peter Cathedral for Bishop John Chedid and then Bishop Robert Shaheen. During his time in both Texas and California, Bishop Elias Zaidan helped establish several new Maronite missions, including missions in Dallas and Houston, as well as the St. Jude Mission in the San Gabriel Valley, CA and the Sts. Peter and Paul Mission in the San Fernando Valley, CA.


Beyond his role in establishing Maronite missions, Bishop Zaidan has long been involved with organizations within and outside the Eparchy. He has been a member of the Presbyteral Council, Protopresbyter and member of the College of Consultors, chairman of the Commission for Lebanon, board member of Tele-Lumiere International, member of the Board of Pastors and the Personnel Board of the Eparchy, coordinator of the Eparchial Marriage Tribunal, member of the Eparchial Sexual Abuse Board, director of Project Roots, supervisor for the Eparchial Stewardship Office, and the Vicar for Clergy as well as being the local Superior for the Congregation of Maronite Lebanese Missionaries. Bishop Zaidan led the re-writing of the Eparchial Pastoral Handbook in 2008. He has also participated in several Synods and Convocations, including as a translator at the Synod of Bishops for the Christians of the Middle East at the Vatican in 2010 and as a delegate and special expert at the Maronite Patriarchal Synod in Lebanon from 2003-2005, for which he was also chief editor of the English Edition of the official Synod text.


On July 10, 2013, Pope Francis, based on the recommendation of the Synod of Maronite Bishops, appointed Rev. A. Elias Zaidan as the third bishop of the Eparchy. He was ordained bishop by the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in Harissa, Lebanon on September 28, 2013. He was enthroned at St. Raymond Cathedral on October 23, 2013. His motto is: “Thy will be done.”


During his tenure as Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, Bishop Elias Zaidan has been a champion for the protection of children, pastoral involvement of the laity, and missionary outreach to al the faithful. He also serves on two committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: International Justice and Peace as well as Catholic Home Missions. He has taken important steps to further unity within Maronite Parishes throughout the Eparchy through his pastoral visits to the various parishes and missions. His work for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles has continued the mission of his predecessors Bishop John Chedid and Bishop Robert Shaheen while forging a new path for the future of the Eparchy.


Our Patriarch

His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rahi was born in Himlaya, Matn District, Lebanon on 25 February 1940. He attended College Notre-Dame de Jamhour, a Jesuit school in Lebanon. He entered into the Mariamite Maronite Order on July 31, 1962 and he was ordained as a priest on 3 September 1967. From 1967 to 1975 he was responsible for the Arabic language transmissions of Vatican Radio.


In 1975 he was awarded a PhD in canon and civil law. He also studied for three years in the Lateran University in Rome.  He was consecrated as auxiliary Bishop of Antioch on 12 July 1986, by Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir and on June 9, 1990, appointed Bishop of Byblos. In 2003 he was elected Secretary of the Maronite Synod, and in 2009 he was appointed President of the Lebanese Episcopal Commission for the Media. In 2007 he received the award of the National Order of the Cedar.  


At age 71, he was elected Patriach of the Maronites on March 15, 2011, after getting more than two-thirds of the votes of the 39 bishops. The Mass for the inauguration of his patriarchate will be on March 25, 2011, in Bkerké, held the See of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate. As is custom for all Maronite patriarchs Rahi took the additional name Boutrous (Peter), who briefly held the see of Antioch before moving to Rome to become bishop there.


Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a consistory on 24 November 2012. Patriarch al-Rahi is the fourth Maronite Patriarch created cardinal, the first three being his three immediate predecessors Paul Peter Meouchi, Anthony Peter Khoraish, and Nasrallah Sfeir.


On January 31st of  2013, Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


In February 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Patriarch Rahi, being a Cardinal, participated as a cardinal elector in the conclave that elected Pope Francis. Cardinal Rahi was one of four cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church who wore distinct vestments proper to their respective churches. The other three cardinal-electors from outside the Latin Church were Coptic Catholic Patriarch-Emeritus Antonios Naguib, Syro Malabar Major Archbishop George Alencherry, and Syro-Malankara Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis. Cardinal Rahi's attire during the opening day was distinct from most of the other electors in that he wore all-red vestments with distinct headgear proper to the Maronite Church. Cardinal Rahi is also the first Maronite Cardinal Patriarch ever to participate in a papal conclave.


Cardinal Patriarch al-Rahi was named a Member of the Congregation for Catholic Education by Pope Francis on Saturday, November 30, 2013. On March 18, 2015 Cardinal-Patriarch al-Rahi became the sole cardinal-elector from the order of cardinal-bishops when Coptic Catholic Cardinal Naguib turned 80 and ceased to be a cardinal-elector. He remained the sole cardinal-bishop elector until June 28, 2018 when four Latin church cardinal-priests of voting age were elevated by Pope Francis to cardinal-bishop by having their titular churches co-opted to suburbicarian rank and Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church was created a cardinal-patriarch.

 




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