(from ONE magazine May 2011)
New Maronite Patriarch
Posted: 19 May 2011
Patriarch Bechara addresses church officials and the media after his election on 15 March in Bkerke, Lebanon.
On 15 March, the Maronite Synod of Bishops announced the election of Bishop Bechara Raï of Jbeil, Lebanon, as Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites.
At his installation ceremony on 25 March, the 71–year–old patriarch pledged that, for the sake of communion and love, he would work to establish a sincere and complete dialogue with Lebanons Muslim community and build together a future in common life and cooperation.
Patriarch Bechara requested the ceremony be held on 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation, which was established as a national holiday for Christians and Muslims.
Ordained a priest of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1967, he was named a bishop in 1986 and has served as bishop of Jbeil since 1990.
Of the approximately 5.5 million Maronite Catholics worldwide, approximately 1.5 million live in Lebanon.