Editor’s note: Bishop Douglas J. Lucia sent the following letter to Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn after an Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut killed at least 160 people and injured 6,000.


August 5, 2020
The Dedication of St. Mary Major

His Excellency
The Most Reverend Gregory J. Mansour
Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
109 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY  11201

Dear Bishop Mansour:

I wish to assure you of the spiritual closeness of the Church of Syracuse to you and to the faithful of Lebanese descent who suffer and mourn the loss of their compatriots in yesterday’s horrific blast in Beirut. I watched in dread as videos showed not only the destructive force of the explosion but even its repercussions on a Divine Liturgy being celebrated in the city.

Please know in this time of testing and pain for the Lebanese nation and people, the heartfelt sympathy and assurance of prayer of this local Church. I feel it such a great privilege to have within the territory of the Diocese of Syracuse, St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church in Utica. As a native son of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, I have had also the joy of knowing many persons who proudly spoke of their Lebanese heritage. In recent years, I have had the opportunity also to meet Bishop Antoine Chbeir, Bishop of Lattaquie, and learn more about the Maronite Church in the Middle East.

Again, we stand in solidarity with you and your flock in this time of testing and pain. May Our Lady of Harissa, intercede for those who have been injured, who mourn, and all who now approach God’s throne of grace and mercy.

With a brother’s care and every good wish to you and your clergy and lay faithful, I am

Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia
Bishop of Syracuse

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