New eparch for Newton

Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop John Elya, BSO and named a Lebanese archbishop to succeed him as bishop of the eparchy of Newton for the Melkites.

The new bishop, who will retain his personal title of archbishop, is Archbishop Cyrille S. Bustros, SMSP. Until now he has been the archbishop of Baalbeck in Lebanon. Archbishop Bustros was born in Lebanon in 1939, he entered the Paulist Fathers — Lebanese not American — and was ordained a priest in 1962. For the next 14 years he fulfilled various assignments for his religious congregation. He completed a doctorate in sacred theology in 1976 and is well known in the Middle East for his theological writings, most of them in Arabic or French.

He was rector of the Paulists’ seminary in Harissa, Lebanon as well as professor of dogmatic theology at St. Joseph University, a Jesuit school, in Beirut.

He was elected archbishop of Baalbeck in Oct. 25, 1988 and ordained to the episcopacy on Nov. 27, 1988.

The eparchy of Newton encompasses the entire United States with major concentrations of Melkite Catholics in New England, New York, New Jersey. the Midwest, and in California. Bishop Nicholas Samra, an alumnus of St. John Seminary, Brighton is the auxiliary bishop of the eparchy and resides in Warren, Mich.

Bishop John Elya is a familiar figure to local Latin Catholics, he is frequently at celebrations both archdiocesan and local, notable in processions with his Eastern episcopal vesture and the crown that Eastern bishops use instead of the miter of Latin bishops. A quiet and kindly gentlemen he has been well loved by his own Melkite flock and his many friends both in the Boston area and across the nation.

Archbishop Bustros will be enthroned as eparch of Newton (installed as bishop) in the fall.