Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Local Pastor Named National Melkite Vocation Director

Published June 7, 2012

Archimandrite John Azar, pastor of St. John Chrysostom Melkite Church, Atlanta, was appointed the new vocation director for the Melkite Catholic diocese in the U.S.

He was appointed to the role by Bishop Nicholas Samra, eparchial bishop of Newton, Mass., for the Melkite Catholics in the U.S.

In the U.S., the Melkites have nearly 50 established parishes, several missions and communities served by the various pastors. The bishops, clergy and faithful of the worldwide Melkite Church, are in communion with the Church of Rome.

Bishop Nicholas appointed Archimandrite John, who has been the pastor of St. John Chrysostom Melkite Church for the past 12 years, to develop a new vocation program. He will also choose his own group of assistants, to be comprised of priests, deacons and lay members from the five regions of the nationwide Melkite eparchy.

Archimandrite John is a native of Rhode Island and has served in various positions in Melkite communities in New England, Florida, California and the Southeast.

He was elevated to the ecclesial rank of Right Reverend Archimandrite in 2007.

He has been instrumental in other roles. He helped to start the N.J. Arab Cultural Institute, and he was asked to serve as its first radio broadcaster of “The Caravan,” an Arabic music and community program at Seton Hall University. He edited Sophia, the national Melkite diocesan magazine, for eight years. He has helped foster and heighten an awareness and appreciation of the Melkite Church in America, both nationally and internationally. He also initiated “AHLAN,” a contact office for Middle Eastern émigrés to the Greater Boston area.

He has been on the faculty of the archdiocesan permanent diaconate program, teaching a course on Patristics to Atlanta Archdiocesan deacon candidates. Within the past two years, he hosted gatherings of the several Eastern Catholic clergy in the greater Atlanta area with hopes of finalizing the formalization into an official association.

The new vocation director can be reached at