Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Sunday of Lent - Prayers for Election of Maronite Patriarch

Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent

Grant almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord.

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Maronite Bishops Gather to Elect New Patriarch

Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Maronite Patriarch Emeritus
 Of interest to many in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada where some of our neighbours, mostly of Lebanese origin, belong to the Maronite Church is a special gathering in Lebanon.

Thirty-seven Maronite bishops, among them several presiding over dioceses across the world, including Mgr Joseph Khoury of Montreal, arrived in Bkirki, Lebanon for the Wednesday afternoon assembly that marks the beginning of the electoral process for choosing a new patriarch for their church.  After a two day retreat, they were secluded for the duration of the electoral process.

Before the doors were locked, the bishops, headed by Cardinal Sfeir, whose resignation from the Patriarch's office was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI some ten days earlier, gathered in the patriarchate’s church to voice prayers with the participation of the Vatican’s Nuncio Most Reverend Gabriel Caccia.

As doors were closed, all Bkirki’s telecommunications were shut down, including landline phones and Internet access. Special equipment to jam cellular phone signals within the patriarchate perimeter was also deployed....

The spiritual conclave, which could take up to 15 days, requires a quorum of two-thirds of the attending bishops for a new patriarch to be elected. If the bishops fail to elect a patriarch after 15 days, it is left to the Vatican to appoint one.

A maximum of 60 rounds of elections will take place with four rounds daily: two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

When asked about the circumstances governing the electoral process, the bishops were unanimous in calling for the Holy Spirit to inspire them to elect the best candidate. 

Let us pray for the one who will be chosen as he will have many challenges ahead.


  1. Mgr l'Archevêque d'Ottawa,

    Bonjour Mgr,
    Merci beaucoup pour votre enseignement sur le
    processus électorale du nouveau patriarche
    Notre prière pour le nouvel élu !

  2. This is so interesting ! I had not really thought how a new patriarch is come to be !
    My great grandparents both came from Lebanon to MB. but I had never heard of the maronite church until long after I was received into the catholic church and did internet searching of Lebanon and catholics. I know my greatgrandparents had been catholic but then the anglican church was the only church in the community and they gradually moved into that church thus the chcildren & grandchildren became anglican . I did however a few yrs back inherite my great grand mothers rosary ! my mother found it hidden away in her 96yo aunts jewel box .My mother felt it should go to be ☺ It is said in the family that great grandmother Sofia always prayed the rosary up until her death so I imagine they still considered themselves catholics .
    I have read about a wonderful saint from there San Charbel and he is very popular in MX too I wondered if it is through the Lebanese migration there that he has become so well known ?
    Thank You for this imformative post