Bishop Nicholas Samra
Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, seminary educated in Massachusetts, Bishop Nicholas Samra was ordained a priest in 1970. He served parishes in California, Illinois and New Jersey. He founded new parishes in Orange County, CA, Hammond, IN, Cliffside Park, NJ and Delray Beach, FL. He served various positions within his own diocese and also served as a member of the Ecumenical and Adult Religious Education Commissions in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
In 1989 he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Newton becoming the Vicar General of his diocese. He authored and published numerous articles on Christian leadership, catechesis, ecumenism and stewardship. In 2010 he published many of his presentations and writings in a book titled Steward of the Mysteries. He has translated and published a history of the Melkite Church in 5 books, and edited and published several other church related works. More books are in preparation.
Bishop Nicholas served 2 terms (6 years) as president of the Eastern Catholic Bishops in the USA, he served on several Committees of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, particularly Ecumenism, Catechesis, Evangelization, and is a member of the Orthodox/Catholic Bishops Dialogue of the USA and Canada. In 1999 he chaired the Encounter of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America and Oceania hosted by the Roman Congregation of Eastern Churches in Chicago. In 2006 he chaired a similar Encounter of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Canada and USA, held in Boston. He further organized and chaired four Encounters of the Eastern Catholic Churches of the USA: three in 2012, Cleveland, OH, Hillsborough, NJ, and Los Angeles, CA, the fourth took place in Orlando, FL in 2014.
Bishop Samra has given lectures on Ecumenism at Catholic University USA, Catholic University Melbourne, Australia, Catholic University of Saskatoon, Canada, Notre Dame/St. Mary College, Euclid, OH and University of San Diego, CA, and has given numerous clergy and laity retreats, parish missions, stewardship and leadership formation weekends in the USA and Canada. In 2003 he was a plenary speaker at the International Catholic Stewardship Seminar in Rome and also a USCCB delegate of an ecumenical bishops’ pilgrimage to Mt. Athos in 2000, and to Armenia in 2003, celebrating the 1700 years of Armenian Christianity.
In 2005 his resignation as Auxiliary Bishop was accepted by Pope John Paul II, allowing him to focus on retreats, teaching, preaching and writing. In 2011 he was elected Eparchial Bishop of Newton and appointed to this position by Pope Benedict XVI. He now serves as chief shepherd of the Melkite Church in America – the Eparchy of Newton.