The Maronite Church in the United States
Immigration of Maronite faithful from the Middle East to the United States began during the latter part of the nineteenth century. When the faithful were able to obtain a priest, communities were established as parishes under the jurisdiction of the local Latin bishops.
Pope Paul VI, with the apostolic constitution Cum supremi of January 10, 1966, established the Maronite Apostolic Esarchate for the Maronite faithful of the United States. The Most Reverend Francis Mansour Zayek, a bishop since 1962, was appointed the first Exarch in a decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Churches dated January 27, 1966. The see city was Detroit, Michigan, with a cathedral under the patronage of Saint Maron. At that time, the Exarchate was assigned as suffragan to the Archdiocese of Detroit. On November 29, 1971, Pope Paul VI, with the apostolic constitution Quae spes, elevated the Exarchate to the status of an Eparchy, with the name of Eparchy of Saint Maron of Detroit.
With a decree from the Sacred Congregation of the Eastern Churches dated June 27, 1977, the see of the Eparchy of Saint Maron was transferred to Brooklyn, New York, with the cathedral under the patronage of Our Lady of Lebanon. The name of the Eparchy was modified to Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.
On December 10, 1982, Pope John Paul II accorded the title of “Archbishop ad personam” to Bishop Zayek as a recognition of his personal contributions to the Catholic Church. With the apostolic constitution Omnium Catholicorum of March 12, 1994, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon was established with the cathedral at Los Angeles, California, under the patronage of Our Lady of Lebanon. The Most Reverend John George Chedid, Titular Bishop of Callinicum for the Maronites and Auxiliary of the Eparchy of Saint Maron, was appointed the first Eparchial Bishop. Bishop Chedid was enthroned by Archbishop Francis M. Zayek on June 24, 1994.
The territory of the newly-structured Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is comprised of the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Maronites who do not reside within a convenient distance to a local Maronite Church are permitted to attend other Catholic churches, but, nevertheless, they retain, their membership in the Maronite Church.
The Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is a constitutive part of the Apostolic Maronite Patriarchal Church of Antioch and Archbishop Zayek is a member of the Patriarchal Synod of Bishops. However, in conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the Eparchy is under the direct jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.