Our Lady of the Cedars Church
A Melkite Catholic Community

140 Mitchell Street, Manchester, NH




Weekly Services

Sunday Divine Liturgy
Saturday -- 4:30 PM Sunday -- 10:30 AM
Sunday Orthros (Morning Prayer)
Sunday -- 9:45 AM
Weekday Services
The schedule of weekday services is published weekly in the bulletin.
Holy Confession
Before or after any service or by appointment

Our Clergy

Francis, Pope of Rome

As Melkite Greek-Catholics, we are the Church of Antioch that is in full communion with the Bishop of Rome.

http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

Patriarch Joseph Absi, Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

His Beatitude was born on June 20, 1946, in Damascus Syria. On May 6, 1973, he was ordained a priest and became chaplain of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul. After the conclusion of philosophical and theological studies at the Major Seminary of St. Paul in Harissa (Lebanon), he obtained a licentiate in philosophy at the Lebanese University, licentiate in theology at the Institute of St Paul in Harissa, and a doctorate in musical science and hymnography at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik.

On June 22, 2001, he was appointed titular archbishop of Tarsus of Greek Melkites and curial bishop and auxiliary bishop in the Melkite Patriarchate. Melkite Patriarch of Antioch Gregory III Laham, BS, was his consecrator and the co-consecrators were Archbishop Jean Mansour, SMSP, titular archbishop of Apamea in Syria dei Greco-Melkiti and Archbishop Joseph Kallas, SMSP, Archeparch of Beirut and Jbeil, on September 2, 2001. From 2001 to 2006, he was Superior General of his religious community. He assisted as co-consecrator at the episcopal ordination of Yasser Ayyash, Archbishop of Petra and Philadelphia in Jordan. In 2007 he was appointed patriarchal vicar for the archdiocese of Damascus.

Bishop Youssef Absi was elected on June 21, 2017, as the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The election of Bishop Absi comes a month after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Gregory III Laham.

Pope Francis wrote to Patriarch Joseph the day after his election, congratulating him and granting him ecclesiastical communion. The Pope also noted the tribulation facing Christians in the region:

“The election of Your Beatitude comes at the time of a delicate situation for the venerable Greek-Melkite Church and when many Christian communities in the Middle East are called to bear wit-ness in a special way to their faith in the dead and risen Christ,” the Roman Pontiff said. “In this particularly difficult time, pastors are called upon to manifest communion, unity, closeness, solidarity, and transparency before the suffering people of God.

“I am certain that your Beatitude, in fraternal harmony with all the Synod Fathers, will know, in all evangelical wisdom, how to be not only Pater et Caput [Father and Head] in the service of the faithful of the Greek-Melkite Church, but also a faithful and authentic witness to the Risen One.”

Most Rev. Nicholas J. Samra, Eparchial Bishop

The Most Rev. Nicholas Samra was born in Paterson, New Jersey on August 15, 1944 to George H. Samra and Elizabeth Balady Samra. His grandparents and his father were immigrants to the United States from Aleppo, Syria. He was ordained a priest for the Eparchy of Newton on May 10, 1970 and served as a pastor in Melkite parishes in Los Angeles, Chicago and New Jersey. Bishop Samra has a B.A. from St. Anselm’s College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a B.D. from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.

On April 21, 1989 Samra was appointed Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus of the Eparchy of Newton, and Titular Bishop of Gerasa, by the Holy Father, His Holiness Blessed Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated and installed on July 6 of that year by Archbishop Joseph Tawil as Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus of the Eparchy of Newton and Titular Bishop of Gerasa. Samra served as Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus until his retirement on January 11, 2005.

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, he was appointed Bishop of the Eparchy of Newton by the Holy Father, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, replacing His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros. He is the fifth eparchial bishop and the first American-born bishop to serve the Eparchy.

An active speaker and author, Samra has written extensively on the subject of ecumenism, Christian leadership and stewardship. He has also published a multi-volume history of the Melkite Church and a book on the legacy of Archbishop Joseph Tawil. He is the past president of the Eastern Catholic Association of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Rev. Fr. Thomas P. Steinmetz, Pastor

Fr. Tom is a lifelong resident of Manchester, NH. He graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1974 and St. Anselm College in 1978, and married his wife Kathy that same year. They have three children (Michael, Elizabeth, and Sarah), a daughter-law (Mary), two sons-in-law (RJ and James) and two grandchildren, (Rebecca and Katherine).

Fr. Tom was a career police officer with the Manchester Police Department and retired as a Detective Lieutenant in 2002 after 24 years of service.

Raised in the Latin Church, Fr. Tom began attending Our Lady of the Cedars Church in 1975. After petitioning for a transfer of enrollment from the Latin Church to the Melkite Church he and Kathy formally became Melkite Catholics in 1985.

As a layperson, Fr. Tom was actively participated in parish life. He was a member of the parish young adult group from 1981 to 1986, served on the Parish Council from 1983 to 1993 and taught religious education for several years.

Fr. Tom attended the Melkite Diocese's Deacon Formation Program at St. Gregory's Seminary from 1990 to 1993, and was ordained to the diaconate January 23, 1994 at Our Lady of the Cedars Church by Bishop Nicholas Samra. While serving as deacon, he received a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Notre Dame College in 2002. He was ordained a priest in Rabweh, Lebanon on July 6, 2002, by the hand of Archbishop Salim Ghazal, BSO. On Sept. 1, 2002 he became the administrator of Our Lady of the Cedars Church, and was later named pastor.

In addition to his duties as pastor, Fr. Tom is also chaplain for the Manchester Police Department and the Manchester V.A. Medical Center. He is a member of the Retired Manchester Police Officers Association, the Manchester Association of Police Supervisors, the Manchester Police Relief Association, the New Hampshire Police Association, the Knights of Columbus Council #5260, and the Catholic War Veterans.

Rt. Rev. Fr. Andre St. Germain

Fr. Andre, having come from the Latin parish of St Jean Baptiste in Manchester NH, has been a parishioner of Our Lady of the Cedars since 1966. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on May 27, 1973, the second deacon ordained by Archbishop Tawil for the Eparchy of Newton. He served as deacon in our parish for twenty-three years. In 1995 he was appointed Economos (Chief Financial Officer) and vice chancellor of the Eparchy. After studies in Philosophy at Rivier College and the other sacred sciences under the tutorage of Archimandrite Gerasimos Murphy, Dean of St Basil Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1996 by Bishop John Elya. During his service of the Eparchy he was named an Eparchial Consultor and was a member of the Presbyteral Council. On March 3, 2002 he was elevated to the office of Economos in recognition for his service to the Eparchy. In February of 2006 he was retired for reasons of health and now resides with his wife, Claire, in Pembroke, N.H. When he is able he participates in our parochial life on the weekends.

Rev. Fr. Roger Boucher

Father Roger Boucher is a native of New Hampshire having attended Spaulding High School and the University of New Hampshire. Ordained in 1973 as a priest for the Diocese of Worcester, he served for ten years as Chaplain at Clark University, was pastor of St Joseph’s church until he entered the US Navy. He served with the Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Navy having pre-commissioned the USS BONHOMME RICHARD LHD6 as Supervisory Chaplain and served in Norway, Japan, Alaska, Florida and Winter Harbor, Maine among other places. His last duty station was Submarine Base, Groton as Senior Base Chaplain where he retired after 20 yeras of service in the military. He holds faculties in the Diocese of Worcester, the Archdiocese for Military Services and the Diocese of Newton. He was granted bi-ritual faculties by the Holy Father in 2008 to serve the Melkite Diocese. His love for orthodoxy and the truth of the Divine Liturgy was his motivation to share his priesthood in the Eastern church. He has been chaplain at Thomas More College, Erasmus Institute and has served two terms as Chaplain to the New Hampshire Legislature. He serves part-time at the Veteran’s Hospital in Manchester. He lives on a remote hilltop (off-grid) with a semi-private chapel that is open for silent retreat to those who are not weak of heart.

No photo available

Rev. Theophan Leonarczyk

Fr. Theophan Leonarczyk was ordained to the order of deacon on April 15, 2007, and to the order of priest on April 16, 2016.