Exterior of the Melkite Patriarch's Church in Damascus - Our Lady of the Dormition

Patriarchal Eparchy of Damascus

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate

June 2009

1. The Patriarchal Eparchy of Damascus is made up of 21 parishes dispersed throughout the city of Damascus and in the Damascus suburbs over a diameter of 120 kilometres. Its bishop is His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem . He is seconded by a vicar general, Archbishop Joseph Absi and 45 priests. 12 seminarists are preparing for the priesthood in the Seminary of Saint Anna in Rabweh , Lebanon .
Besides, the Eparchy possesses two monasteries: Saint Thomas at Saydnaya and Saint Elias at Ma’arrat, for retreats and different (especially religious) activities and events. Two other monasteries are based in the eparchy: one, Saints Sergius and Bacchus at Ma’loula, belongs to the Salvatorian Basilian Order and the other, Saint Germanus at Jaramana, belongs to the Missionary Society of Saint Paul.
Furthermore, the eparchy is endowed with a Minor Seminary which at present houses 20 seminarists.
2. The Eparchy is animated by a pastoral collection of movements, centers and associations:
i. 20 catechetical centers: 250 religious educators – 5000 children – 150 classrooms
ii. Family confraternities: 3 = 200 members
iii. Sodalities for women: 18 = 1350 members
iv. Confraternities for men: 14 = 400 members
v. Various confraternities: 500 members
vi. Choirs: 13 = 500 choristers
vii. Scout troops: 10 = 1500 members
viii. Welfare societies: 7 = 400 members
ix. Confraternities of handicapped persons: 5 = 200 members
x. Legio Mariae: 20 families = 350 members
xi. IMAC: 200 children
xii. Movement of Renewal in the Holy Spirit: 200 members
xiii. The Torch Society: 100 members
xiv. Christian Student Youth
xv. Church Wardens: 175
3. The Eparchy also has social centers – medical, cultural and other:
i. Children’s home: 1 = 25 children – boys and girls
ii. Old people’s home: 1 = 15 persons
iii. Soup kitchens: 2 = 300 beneficiaries
iv. Clinics: 2 = 45 different specialist doctors and more than 25000 patient visits per year
v. Patriarchal college for girls and boys, from reception to sixth form: 1 = at present 2020 pupils. Maximum capacity: 2800 pupils
vi. Kindergartens: 7 = about 1000 children
vii. Adult religious education center: 1 = 120 students
viii. Half-yearly patriarchal review Aliqa’a
ix. Young women’s hostels: 2 = 125 young women
x. Burial societies: 1, concerned with burying the dead and the building and maintenance of the cemetery
xi. Welfare society: 1 = 200 families benefit from monthly financial support and many others from temporary kinds of financial help
xii. Ecclesiastical court
xiii. Museum: 1, which houses icons, manuscripts, utensils
xiv. Patriarchal office for different services
4. Projects for the future:
i. Monastery of Saint Elias, mentioned above, under construction in Ma’arrat, a village in the Damascus region
ii. Patriarchal hospital, under construction at Kashkoul in the Damascus suburbs
iii. Church for Jaramana in the Damascus suburbs
iv. Church for Sahnaya, village in the Damascus region
v. Church for Qatana, village in the Damascus region
vi. Church for the Al-Assad villages in the Damascus suburbs
vii. Church of the Mouhajrin, a Damascus district: restoration
viii. Parish center of the village of Hineh : restoration
ix. Catechetical center of Harasta: restoration
x. Parish center for Bloudan, town of the Damascus region
xi. Site for a church at Ain-Terma, in the Damascus suburbs