In the early part of the
20th century, immigrants from the area of Aamor and Karm
Al-Mohr in Lebanon settled on the South Side of New
Castle. These immigrants were identified by their Maronite
Catholic faith. By 1920, the Lebanese had a
well-established community and family connections.
However, the Maronite
Catholic community lacked a permanent home and a priest.
So, they met informally. to worship, in storerooms on Long
Avenue, Sciota Street and Moravia Street. Their love of
their heritage and faith sustained them until they were
able to buy their first church building, on Howard Way, in
1926. This love and determination carried them through the
Great Depression and they were able to build the current
building in 1935 at 2 West Reynolds Street. In 1967, the
parish continued their growth with the construction of
their beautiful recreational hall on Pearson Street.
Claude was born on February 12, 1972 in Fayetteville, NC.
He spent his first 19 years being raised and educated in
Fayetteville, until he entered into the Seminary in
Washington, DC. He received both his Bachelor's of Arts in
Philosophy on May 7, 1994 and his Master's of Arts in
Theology On May 10, 1997 from Oblate College. He was
ordained to the Priesthood on November 29, 1997 and spent
his first eight months of his Priesthood in Lebanon
Father Claude's first assignment was at St. Ann Maronite
Church in Scranton, PA in 1998 until he was sent to study
in Rome in 2003 at the pontifical Oriental Institute and
reside at the Patriarchal Maronite College. He received
his Master's in Liturgical Studies (Summa Cum Laude) on
June 20, 2005.
Upon returning from Rome in May 2006 he was Parochial
Vicar of Our Lady of Victory Maronite Church in Carnegie,
PA. He was then assigned as Pastor of St. Elias Maronite
Church in Roanoke, VA. Father was assigned to St. John's
in August 2010.
Claude is currently working on his Doctorate in Liturgical
Studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
Currently the parish
serves more than 100 families with daily and weekend
services. We strive to carry on the faith of our
To meet the founding generation,
To read the entire
history of the Maronite community in New Castle,