Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Newly-Elected Metropolitan of Zahleh: Younan el-Souri

Arabic original here.

Archimandrite Younan (el-Souri) Metropolitan of the Diocese of Zahleh

On the second day of the Holy Synod of Antioch's session held at the patriarchal residence at Balamand, the members of the Synod elected the abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of Bkaftine, Archimandrite Younan (el-Souri) as metropolitan of the Diocese of Zahleh, Baalbek and Their Dependencies.

Who is Metropolitan Younan (el-Souri)?

Antoine el-Souri was born in Mina, Tripoli on June 20, 1970. He studied at the National Orthodox School Mar Elias in Mina.

In 1994, he graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the Lebanese University, receiving a degree in electrical and electronic engineering.

He studied theology by correspondence with the Institut Saint-Serge in Paris through the Diocese of Mount Lebanon. He graduated from this institute in 2006 with honors.

He worked at various jobs before entering the priesthood. On June 24, 2001, he was ordained subdeacon at the church of the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Douma by His Eminence Metropolitan Georges Khodr.

On March 20, 2005, he was ordained deacon at the Cathedral of Saint George in Mina by Metropolitan Elias Kurban of thrice-blessed memory.

On July 24, 2005 he was ordained to the priesthood in the parish of Mina. He was priest for the youth in the Diocese of Tripoli and Koura.

On September 7, 2008 he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite during the service of vespers for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos at the church of the metropolitan's residence.

A member of the Youth Movement from childhood, he was active in the group under the guidance of Costi Bendaly. He held various positions in the Orthodox Youth Movement, including:

2001-2003: Assistant General Secretary to Raymond Rizk.
2001-2003: Responsible for mentoring programs in the general secretariat.
2002-2004: Head of the Mina branch.
2004-2008: Head of the Tripoli center.

He was vice president of Syndesmos, the international league of Orthodox youth movements. He participated in several local and regional conferences.

He was active in the choir of Mina and was trained by the Protopsaltis of the See of Antioch, Dimitri Coutya.

On June 19, 2011 he became abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of Bkaftine. Since that time, he has conducted significant renovations of its buildings. He prepared a small church dedicated to Saints Anthony the Great, Arsenius the Cappadocian, and Nectarius the Wonder-Worker. About two months ago, he restored the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the monastery.

On June 16, 2012, he received the angelic great schema, taking as his patron the Prophet Jonah, during the divine liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Ephrem Kyriakos.

He collaborated with the publishing house Ta'awwuniyyat el-Nour to publish a documentary entitled "The Monastery of Our Lady of Bkaftine: Holiness and Ancient Roots" about the history of the monastery from its foundation to today and its pastoral and cultural role in the region of Koura.

He is the author of several articles in Majallat el-Nour, including "Youth and Life", "Between Proselytism and Evangelism", "Meditations on Monasticism", "World Orthodox Youth Day", "The Issues of Homosexuals in the Priesthood".

He is the author of theological articles and studies in al-Karma, the bulletin of the Diocese of Tripoli and Koura.

He has taught various subjects, including Old Testament and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul at the department of theological preparation at the Pastoral Center for Orthodox Patristic Heritage in the Diocese of Tripoli.

On October 7, 2015, he was elected by the Holy Synod of Antioch as successor to Metropolitan Spyridon Khoury as metropolitan of the Diocese of Zahleh, Baalbek and Their Dependencies.

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