Past Heirarchs of the Eparchy of Newton
Bishop Emeritus Nicholas
Born in Paterson, N.J., the Most Rev. Nicholas James Samra (1944-) was ordained a priest of the Eparchy of Newton. He served in several parishes and eparchial posts before his election as auxiliary bishop in 1989. He was elected our fifth eparchial bishop in 2011.
On October 12th 2022, Bishop Nicholas officially retired from the pastoral governance of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton as Bishop François Beyrouti, was ordained.
The Most Rev. Cyril Salim Bustros (1939- ) is a member of the Missionaries of St. Paul. Born in Ain-Borday, Lebanon, he taught at the St. Paul Institute in Harissa and at St. Joseph University in Beirut. He served as Archbishop of Baalbeck from 1988 to 2004 before becoming our fourth eparch (our fifth bishop). In 2011 he was elected Metropolitan of Beirut and Jbeil by the Synod of the patriarchate. He has also served as a member of the International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.
The Most Rev. John Adel Elya (1928-2019) was the third eparch (the fourth bishop), serving from 1993 to 2004. Born in Maghdouche, Lebanon he was a member of the Basilian Salvatorian Order. He previously served the eparchy as a parish priest, an instructor and rector of St. Basil’s Seminary before becoming auxiliary bishop of Newton in 1986.
The Most Rev. Ignatius Ghattas (1920-1992), our second eparch (third bishop) was a native of Nazareth. A member of the Basilian Salvatorian Order, he taught for six years in the monastery school before coming to the United States. He served as pastor of St. Elias Church, Brooklyn, OH for 34 years before his election to the episcopate in 1989. He reposed on October 11, 1992.
The Most Rev. Joseph Elias Tawil (1913-1999), a native of Damascus, Syria was a member of the patriarchal clergy. After serving at the patriarchal college in Alexandria, Egypt from 1936 to 1959, he was elected Archbishop of Myra and patriarchal vicar in Damascus. In 1969 he was appointed as our second exarch. In 1976 the exarchate was raised to the status of a full eparchy and Archbishop Joseph became its first eparch. He retired for reason of health in 1989. Archbishop Joseph reposed on February 17, 1999.
The Most Rev. Justin Abraham Najmy (1898-1968), a member of the Aleppian Basilian Order, served as pastor of St Basil’s Church, then in Central Falls, RI., for twenty years before becoming the first bishop for the Melkites in the United States. Appointed Apostolic Exarch in 1967, he served until his untimely death on June 11, 1968.