Our Lady of Lebanon, MillbraeName of Church Our Lady of Lebanon

Address 600 El Camino Real, Millbrae CA 94030

Phone number (650) 652-6445

Website www.maronite-sf.org

Liturgy times Sundays, 10 a.m. (English/Aramaic) and 11:30 a.m. (Arabic/Aramaic)  Holy days, 7:30 p.m. (English/Arabic/Aramaic)

Music Choir at the Sunday, 11:30 a.m. Mass, cantors at the other Masses.

Confessions 30 minutes before Divine Liturgy, or by appointment.

Names of priests Father John Nahal, pastor.  Father Nahal is originally from Lebanon, and is celebrating his 20th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.  He came to the U.S. in 1995, and has been pastor at Our Lady of Lebanon since 2007.

School No school. The parish offers religious education and Arabic classes (taught together), however. The first class is Sunday, September 16, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Call the parish for information.

Special parish groups/activities Knights of Columbus, Ladies Guild, Altar Society, Arabic Language Program, Maronite Youth Organization, Maronite Young Adults

Fellow parishioners Although the church is not an ethnic community and all are welcome to attend, most who do can trace their ancestry to Lebanon and Syria.

Parking The church has a small lot or park on the street.

Additional observations

Our Lady of Lebanon’s church was once home to the Latin-rite community of St. Dunstan, built in 1914.  St. Dunstan’s was re-located, and the Maronite community purchased the building in 1981.  The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church which is in union with the Pope.  The church has a patriarch, and over 40 bishops who shepherd eparchies (dioceses) throughout the world, including two in the United States.  Our Lady of Lebanon is part of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles led by Bishop Robert Shaheen.

The Maronites profess the same faith and moral beliefs as Latin-rite Catholics and share the same seven sacraments.  However, Maronites have a unique liturgy, theology, spirituality and discipline.  Attend Sunday liturgy at Our Lady of Lebanon, for example, you’ll see Eastern vestments and a small hand cross that the priest uses to bless the congregation.  Congregations rarely kneel but stand, the faithful bow to the tabernacle rather than genuflect, incense is frequently used, and Holy Communion is by intinction (the Host is dipped into the chalice and given to the communicant on the tongue, not the hand).

The Maronite Church dates back to the early Christians of Antioch where “they were called Christians for the first time.” (Acts 11:26).  The church still uses Syriac as her liturgical language; Syriac is a dialect of the Aramaic that Jesus himself spoke.  She takes her name from the hermit-priest, St. Maron, who died in 410 AD.  After St. Maron’s death, 800 monks adopted his way of life and became known as the Maronites.  Muslim invasions and conflicts from within the Byzantine Empire caused the Maronites to flee the plains of Syria to the protection of the mountains of Lebanon.  By 687, the Maronites elected a patriarch of the vacant See of Antioch and developed as a distinct church within the Catholic Church.

The Maronites began immigrating to the United States in the 19th century.  In addition to priests, the Maronites also have communities of religious men and women.  There are 86 Maronite parishes and missions across the United States, including seven in California.  Our Lady of Lebanon is the only Maronite community in Northern California.