Discover the Eparchy of Newton

The Eparchy of Newton is an eparchy of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The eparchy encompasses the entire United States; its current Eparch, Nicholas James Samra, was appointed on June 15, 2011.


Early immigration

The first large wave of Melkite immigration from the Middle East to the United States took place in the late 19th century, and the first American Melkite church was established in the 1890s. Because there was no diocesan structure for Melkites in the United States at the time, Melkite parishes were each under the jurisdiction of the local Latin-rite diocesan bishop.

Apostolic exarchate

As the Melkite presence in the United States reached 70 years, the Holy See erected an apostolic exarchate on January 10, 1966 to serve the needs of Melkite Catholics in the country, with the title Apostolic Exarchate of United States of America, Faithful of the Oriental Rite (Melkite). Bishop Justin Najmy (1898–1968), pastor of St. Basil the Great Church in Central Falls, Rhode Island, was designated as the first Exarch. After Bishop Najmy's death, Archbishop Joseph Tawil was appointed his successor in October 1969.


On June 28, 1976, the Exarchate was elevated to the status of an eparchy. with the title Eparchy of Newton, and Abp. Tawil became the first Eparch.

The Eparchy

The eparchy is named for the Boston suburb of Newton, where eparchial offices and the bishop's residence were located until approximately 2000. These are now based in the Roslindale section ofBostonMassachusetts, beside the seat of the eparchy, the Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral.

As of 2009, the eparchy consists of approximately 45 parishes and missions throughout the United States. According to a research study published in Sociology of Religion, there were approximately 120,000 Melkites residing in the country in 1986, although only about 25,000 were formally enrolled in Melkite parishes.

Exarch & Eparchs

  1. Bishop Justin Abraham Najmy Exarch (January 27, 1966–June 11, 1968)
  2. Archbishop Joseph Tawil (1969–December 2, 1989)
  3. Bishop Ignatius Ghattas (February 23, 1990–October 11, 1992)
  4. Bishop John Elya (November 25, 1993–June 22, 2004)
  5. Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros (June 22, 2004–June 15, 2011)
  6. Bishop Nicholas James Samra (appointed June 15, 2011)



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