"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree
and will spring up like the Cedars of Lebanon."
Psalm 92:12

 

Maronites in the United States-

A History

Maronites are Eastern Rite Catholics.
The Maronite Church was introduced to the United States in the late 19th century by a number of poor, uneducated, hard-working and faithful immigrants from the Middle East.  

The majority of these immigrants were from the northern mountainous area in the country we now know as Lebanon. At that time, most of the passports of the immigrants identified their homelands as Syria or Turkey.  As with many immigrants passing through Ellis Island, many surnames were abbreviated or changed upon entry.  Those working at Ellis Island were not familiar with the language of these immigrants and very few immigrants spoke or understood English - the communication gap was a big factor.
 
The long and arduous journey never discouraged these immigrants and many worked on board the ship they traveled on to earn the $14 passage to come to the United States.  

It was in the United States they hoped to forge a better life for themselves and/or their families.  After all, a better life is what missionaries had told them about the United States.  Most never planned on staying in the U.S.  permanently anyway.

There are many educators, writers, priest and other scholars of the Church who have conducted much research on the Middle East, the Eastern Catholic Rites, Middle Eastern Culture, etc.  We are grateful for each of them and for their work as it has all contributed to the body of work done by the National History Committee.  

The Committee hopes that this website will be of some assistance to anyone interested in learning about the Maronite faith in the United States. 

The Maronite Church is not an ethnic Church - all are welcome to attend Maronite liturgies and become a part of any Maronite parish.  There is no need to understand or to be fluent in Arabic, Syriac or Aramaic to participate in liturgies.  God's blessings have been abundant in the Maronite Church within the United States over the years. 
One hundred years from now, if we abide by the Church's teachings and with the interest and prayers of so many others,  another form of media will take the place of this website and tell of the next one hundred years in the church.   
".....From one generation to another, to the end of time."