I was born in Bakacafra January 5, 1950, Lebanon, the seventh child of Boutros and Nazha Khoury Makhlouf of a family that has continuously has a priest in the Family who used to serve Church and teach the new generations of writing and reading. In my childhood, many used to ask me if I will be a priest, to continue the tradition of the Family. I never refused, but in my mind, I have to study a lot because I had many questions not every one could answered me. More than that, I used to hear the complaining of many priests of the situation. I was reluctant that influenced my studies. Finally I was involved with different laity movements. They helped me to deepen my faith.
I studied in different places according to the settlement of the Family. I was graduated from the College Central of the Lebanese Order. I studied Electronic Ecole Technique it is a High technical School in Beirut and I studied Physics in the Lebanese University. I participated to The University of the Holly Spirit I was graduated in Master Degree.
His Excellency Archbishop Zayek, encourage me to participate to the Diocese of Saint Maron in 1989.
I studied three Semesters in Washington DC Maronite Seminary. I attended different school of theology to Study Moral and Pastoral Theology and English.
I was ordained with extraordinary events. While, I was prepared to be ordained in Lebanon in my hometown, among my family, relatives and friends, my my mother was killed, while she was in my brother’s house. I was obliged to be ordained at St. Maron in Youngstown – separated from my family and friends in the presence of my new family and friends that were given to me through my ordination. It was practically and literally a separation according to the ritual of the ordination when the candidate is separated by a veil which means he is consecrated to God alone. After this ritual, he will return to serve the people. Fifteen years ago, I realized the priesthood and the cross live together as the joy of suffering death and resurrection.
I was living the experience of the Apostles after the Resurrection of the Lord. I have learned the meaning of the events and the joy of the presence of Christ in my life. May 12,1990 , I was ordained by his Excellency Archbishop Zayek at St. Maron, Youngstown; May 13th, feast of Our Lady of Fatima (Mother’s Day) was my First Divine Liturgy, and in the after noon, I was consecrated to Mary, Our Lady of Lebanon. I asked her, for a fruitful priesthood, she who is the mother of the High Priest especially since I lost my mother, who would be the one who prays for me. I know that recently Our Lady of Fatima protected the pope.
I served as assistant Pastor in Youngtown, I used to assist many priests an especially In Wheeling WV.
I was assigned as Assistant Pastor in Wheeling WV. And Administrator and Pastor. During that time I attended English courses in Wheeling College. I enrolled in Duquesne University as a candidate of PH D in Systematic Theology. For seven Years I have a good experience in Wheeling WV.
1997 Bishop John Chedid assigned me a Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Cincinnati OH during that time; I attended Xavier University to study English Skills. After the enthronement of Bishop Shaheen, I was transferred to be the Pastor of St. Maron Detroit in 2001 until 2006 after the visit of his beatitude Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Bishop Shaheen transferred my to be the Second Pastor of Saint Joseph, Phoenix Arizona.
With joy and hope, I found every place wherever I go Jesus pour his blessings upon me. My difficulties are the Mediocrity of the majority of the Christians who ignore their tradition. I hope and pray that the Lord pour His spirit upon the Church to become the place of joy and peace.
To become a priest is a challenge, when most of the world is moving toward materialism and consumerism. I had early vocation but my ordination was delayed for different reasons. One of them I had the reluctance of St. Thomas who would like to be secure. I was looking for perfection before I would be ordained. After years of experience, I was wrong, because the grace of God is enough to walk with Him to the end.
In retrospect to the circumstances, I found the hand of the Lord with everything, even with time of sorrow and failure. Starting with the death of my mother before my ordination, it was a hard experience. When everything was dark, the Lord asked my to enlighten a candle of hope. I realized that the Priest is a sign of hope where there is a mere night.
After seventeen years I would like to repeat what I wrote in the New Letter in Maronites Today: “Life with Christ is a joyful and yet ambitious one, risky in that the demand s of imitating Christ’s life are great. It takes unusual power to lift the person up the level accommodation holiness.”