Parish Priest: Fr Fadi Salame
Telephone: 07 3394 4994
Our work in this Parish role has focused on social, culture and spiritual needs in our community. Our aim is to bring people together reaffirming old friendships and making new friends as well.
The Maronite Parish in Brisbane is striving to grow, reorganize to further strengthen our effectiveness, and be more active pastorally and spiritually. Such reform is taking place at all levels, and requires the spiritual and physical contribution of all of us. The task is large and pitted with challenges.
St Maroun’s Church, 29 Bunya Street, Greenslopes
Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00pm
Sunday – 10:00am (Arabic and English Mass), 6.00pm (English Mass)
Sacred Heart Church, 50 Fairway Drive, Clear island Waters
Sunday – 7:00pm
The Maronites are the descendants of the Aramaean Christians of ancient Syria. Their Mass is celebrated in the Aramean dialect of Edessa, or Syriac which was also the language spoken by Jesus Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church as it is known now has its origins from Rome. This western discipline, however, was but one among the diversity of traditions and disciplines (rites or churches) that flourished in the four major centres of the Roman Empire in the early Christian Church: Rome in Italy, Antioch in Syria (now Antakya in Turkey), Alexandria in Egypt, and Byzantium in Asia Minor (later Constantinople, now Istanbul in Turkey).
The rites later tended to be distinguished into western: eg. the Catholic Congregation of the Roman Rite in Western Europe and Britain, and eastern: eg. the Catholic Congregation of the different rites in the east. Many eastern Christian congregations, however, severed their links with Rome in the 5th and the 11th century.
The Maronite Church is the only eastern Church that remained loyal to the bishop of Rome despite the fact that they were cut off from Rome for almost 450 years due to the Arab Muslim conquest of the Middle East. The link was later restored with the arrival of the Crusaders in 1098. Vatican Council II decreed in 1964 that “the eastern Churches in communion with Rome have a full right and duty to rule themselves in accordance with their own established disciplines and traditions.”
The Maronite Church was established around its founder, St Maroun, a religious monk who lived the life of a hermit in a countryside region of ancient Phoenicia in the 4th century. Shortly after his death in 410AD a monastery known as “Beit Maroun” was built in Apamea in Syria, housing some 300 monks. Meanwhile, the difficult period of restricted travel and contact between Antioch and Rome caused much disagreement and misunderstanding. Further aggravated by hierarchical complications, the first appointed Maronite Patriarch was forced to flee Syria and eventually establish a safe base in Lebanon. The new place also offered hope and refuge for Christians fleeing persecution.
Maronites in Australia
Religious and political discord, however, soon plagued Lebanon and these periods of unrest throughout its recent history forced waves of Lebanese to migrate to other countries such as Europe, North America, South America (particularly Brazil) and Australia.
Maronites are known to have been in Adelaide from as early as 1854. Prior to the arrival of their own priests, and being Catholics, most Maronites participated and eventually integrated with the local Catholic communities. Fr Khayouz was known to have ministered to the Maronites in Adelaide from 1888 to 1929. Fr Yazbek and Fr Dahdah later arrived in Sydney in 1893. More priests came to minister to the spiritual needs of the community. However, as the Maronites spread throughout Australia, integration into the local Roman/Latin rite parishes was inevitable. An increasing number of 2nd and 3rd generation Maronites spoke no Arabic or only understood colloquial Arabic. Despite this reality, more priests and religious arrived. More Maronite Churches and later schools were established in different parts of Australia. [More on A Brief History of the Maronite Church in Australia]
Maronites in Brisbane
Fr Malouf was known to have ministered to the Maronites in Brisbane since 1952. It was not until 1980 when St Maroun’s Parish was established at Greenslopes. Prior to this the Maronites attended a Melkite Mass in Southbank along with the Melkites and the Orthodox. Past parish priests in Brisbane include Fr George Nehme and Fr Dany Akiki.