Bishop Gregory John Mansour

 
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His Excellency
The Most Reverend
Gregory John Mansour

Eparch of Saint Maron of Brooklyn

Biography

Gregory John Mansour was born on November 11, 1955, in Flint, Michigan, the eldest of six children of George and Gloria (Farhat) Mansour. His ancestors trace their heritage from Ehden, Tibneen, and Damour in Lebanon, from Nazareth in Palestine (now Israel), and from Damascus, Syria.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education from Western Michigan University in 1977. He entered Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C., later that year. In 1981 he received a Post Graduate Degree in Theological Studies (STB) from Catholic University of America.

On September 18, 1982 he was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop John Chedid at Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Flint, Michigan. After studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, he completed his Degree in Spiritual Theology (STL) in 1983.

In 1983 he became Pastor of Saint George Church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Between 1987 and 1994 he was responsible for Deacons and Subdeacons in the Diocese of Saint Maron – USA.

In 1994 a second Maronite Eparchy, Our Lady of Lebanon, was established in the United States. Bishop John Chedid asked him to serve as the Vicar General, Chancellor and Financial Officer of the new Eparchy located in Los Angeles, California.

Father Mansour was elevated to Chorbishop on January 21, 1996 by Bishop John Chedid. Between 1998 and 2001, he attended U.C.L.A. as a graduate student in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures program with special emphasis on Islamic Studies.

In March, 2001, at the request of Bishop Robert Shaheen, the second Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, Chorbishop Mansour relocated to St. Louis, Missouri remaining in his post as Vicar General and assuming the additional role as Rector of Saint Raymond Cathedral. He also taught Spiritual Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 2002 and 2003.

In January 2004, Pope John Paul II named him third Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. Bishop Mansour was ordained in Lebanon by Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir on March 2, 2004 and was installed as Bishop in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon on April 27, 2004.

Bishop Mansour has served on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Pro Life and Catechesis and Evangelization Committees. He continues to serve on the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue.

In addition to serving as Secretary for Christian Arab and Middle Eastern Churches Together (CAMECT), he is also a member of the Board of Trustee for The Catholic University of America, Catholic Relief Services, Aid to the Church in Need, Caritas Lebanon and Telelumiere/Noursat, and is actively involved with the efforts of In Defense of Christians (IDC) to support and advocate for Christians of the Middle East.

Bishop Mansour is also an active member of the Maronite Synod of Bishops that meets every year in Lebanon.

The Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is composed of 45 parishes and missions, a Seminary in Washington D.C., a Convent in Dartmouth, Mass, and a Monastery in Petersham, Mass. 

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Crosier  Traditionally, Maronite Bishop used a gold staff topped by a globe surmounted by the Cross. More in keeping with Syriac theology, the globe and cross have been replaced with Rabbula Cross, an ancient symbol found carved in cave churches all throughout Lebanon. Rather than surmounting the world, the Rabbula Cross is infused into the world. Like a compass, it stretches out to the four corners of the globe.  Shield  From the green cedar on the eparchial side (the left side) the green mountains rise up to the heavens, as does all life itself. The mountains, like their counter symbol- the Cedar- represent the strength and vitality of our ancient Faith and Church. Lebanon is represented in the subtle reference to her flag.  Significance  Maron was the fourth century hermit/priest from whom the Maronite Church takes her name. Maron was known for his asceticism as well as his gift of spiritual counsel, healing and intercession.  Nestled along the slope of the mountains on the left, moving toward the right side of the shield, which is Bishop Gregory’s personal side, is a village of houses gathered around a church with the distinctive Maronite bell tower. This is a typical scene repeated throughout the Middle East. It is an image of “the beloved community” formed out of a common faith in Jesus Christ, and based firmly upon the strength of God’s gift of life to us as represented by the green mountains. As Christians, Bishop Gregory and his ancestors in the Middle East and America have had the privilege of living in the “beloved community.”  For Bishop Gregory, the beloved community was and still is the community of Christ, that is, the Church, with families gathered around her much like the first families that attached themselves to the monks and hermits of “Bet Maroon.”  In the lower right hand side of the shield, the “beloved community” is overshadowed and protected by the salvific love of God as visualized by the Cross of Christ towering high above the village in the sky. The golden “Tau” Cross is an icon of Jesus’ body with outstretched arms warmly embracing the community of faith below. At the same time, the tau Cross reflects our monastic origins as Maronites, as well as the Ascetical/mystical tradition so much a part of our Maronite heritage. It also pays tribute to the Father of all monks, St. Anthony of the Desert.  Maronite monks and nuns, in imitation of the desert fathers, were accustomed to leaning in a cross-like support known as a Tau Cross during their night prayer vigil. Bishop Gregory knows the power of “leaning on the Cross,” and is not afraid to take true comfort there.  Below the Cross is found a blue “M” representing Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. There she keeps vigil as Jesus sacrifices Himself in love for the world. She is also depicted above the mountains, where she is found at Harissa as Our Lady of Lebanon. The Positioning of a simple “M” below the Cross is in imitation of the coat of arms of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, honoring the Pontiff’s profound influence in Bishop Gregory’s life, education and ministry. Finally, the sky is white, not blue, because it is filled with Christ, the Light of the World, who illuminates all things under heaven.  Motto  “No Greater Love” is taken from John’s Gospel (Jn.15:13) and expresses the depth of God’s gracious love for us in Christ Jesus. It captures the inspiration of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which calls to each Christian, whatever his or her state in life, and asks us to join with Him in this love and ministry for others. It is written both in English and Arabic to represent the languages of the people served by Bishop Gregory; it is yet another reminder of the “beloved community” formed by our faith and His love for us, His people. The motto is left incomplete in the coat of arms, inviting the reader to revisit the Gospel and make complete the Lord’s words by living a life with of Jesus Himself.

Crosier

Traditionally, Maronite Bishop used a gold staff topped by a globe surmounted by the Cross. More in keeping with Syriac theology, the globe and cross have been replaced with Rabbula Cross, an ancient symbol found carved in cave churches all throughout Lebanon. Rather than surmounting the world, the Rabbula Cross is infused into the world. Like a compass, it stretches out to the four corners of the globe.

Shield

From the green cedar on the eparchial side (the left side) the green mountains rise up to the heavens, as does all life itself. The mountains, like their counter symbol- the Cedar- represent the strength and vitality of our ancient Faith and Church. Lebanon is represented in the subtle reference to her flag.

Significance

Maron was the fourth century hermit/priest from whom the Maronite Church takes her name. Maron was known for his asceticism as well as his gift of spiritual counsel, healing and intercession.

Nestled along the slope of the mountains on the left, moving toward the right side of the shield, which is Bishop Gregory’s personal side, is a village of houses gathered around a church with the distinctive Maronite bell tower. This is a typical scene repeated throughout the Middle East. It is an image of “the beloved community” formed out of a common faith in Jesus Christ, and based firmly upon the strength of God’s gift of life to us as represented by the green mountains. As Christians, Bishop Gregory and his ancestors in the Middle East and America have had the privilege of living in the “beloved community.”

For Bishop Gregory, the beloved community was and still is the community of Christ, that is, the Church, with families gathered around her much like the first families that attached themselves to the monks and hermits of “Bet Maroon.”

In the lower right hand side of the shield, the “beloved community” is overshadowed and protected by the salvific love of God as visualized by the Cross of Christ towering high above the village in the sky. The golden “Tau” Cross is an icon of Jesus’ body with outstretched arms warmly embracing the community of faith below. At the same time, the tau Cross reflects our monastic origins as Maronites, as well as the Ascetical/mystical tradition so much a part of our Maronite heritage. It also pays tribute to the Father of all monks, St. Anthony of the Desert.

Maronite monks and nuns, in imitation of the desert fathers, were accustomed to leaning in a cross-like support known as a Tau Cross during their night prayer vigil. Bishop Gregory knows the power of “leaning on the Cross,” and is not afraid to take true comfort there.

Below the Cross is found a blue “M” representing Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. There she keeps vigil as Jesus sacrifices Himself in love for the world. She is also depicted above the mountains, where she is found at Harissa as Our Lady of Lebanon. The Positioning of a simple “M” below the Cross is in imitation of the coat of arms of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, honoring the Pontiff’s profound influence in Bishop Gregory’s life, education and ministry. Finally, the sky is white, not blue, because it is filled with Christ, the Light of the World, who illuminates all things under heaven.

Motto

“No Greater Love” is taken from John’s Gospel (Jn.15:13) and expresses the depth of God’s gracious love for us in Christ Jesus. It captures the inspiration of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which calls to each Christian, whatever his or her state in life, and asks us to join with Him in this love and ministry for others. It is written both in English and Arabic to represent the languages of the people served by Bishop Gregory; it is yet another reminder of the “beloved community” formed by our faith and His love for us, His people. The motto is left incomplete in the coat of arms, inviting the reader to revisit the Gospel and make complete the Lord’s words by living a life with of Jesus Himself.