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His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH welcomes His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER of Ottawa to Los Angeles

His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH welcomes His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER of Ottawa to Los Angeles - 04/27/06

Los Angeles, California

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His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH and the entire Diocese of Los Angeles and the West welcomes His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. Sayidna ALEXANDER is visiting Los Angeles for the occasion of the wedding of his cousin's daughter. Both hierarchs will preside over the sacrament. On Sunday, the two bishops will celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at the Diocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Los Angeles.

His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER's Biography

Bishop ALEXANDER (Mufarrij) was born into an Orthodox Christian family in 1956, he spent his childhood and young adulthood in North Lebanon where he attended Tripoli Boys’ School.  After having passed the Lebanese Baccalaureates I and II, he enrolled at the American University of Beirut but was unable to continue due to the fighting that plagued Lebanon at the time.

In 1976 the University of North Texas, known then as North Texas State University, accepted his application for an undergraduate degree and so he left his birth country and a widowed mother for the purpose of education in the USA.

At North Texas State he studied Biology with the intention of becoming a dentist, but the slim chances of studying dentistry for a non-resident soon revealed themselves when Dental schools began to inform him that their priorities were for state residents. Having completed his Bachelor of Art degree in December of 1978 without any immediate prospect of admission into a dental school, he enrolled himself the following January and at the same university, in a Master of Business Administration program with emphasis on Administrative Management. This program was designed for students coming from a non-business background and therefore took longer to complete. Two years later he graduated the MBA program and headed back to war-stricken Lebanon to live and work.

Living in what was designated as West Beirut between 1981 and 1985 was a continuous challenge. Amidst anarchy and violence one could only rely on God for safety and survival. Those were the years when he began to grow spiritually and emotionally. During those four years, he worked for a company that imported raw materials for a number of factories in both Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. In October of 1985, he returned to the USA for a visit. When hopes for peace in Lebanon at the time faded, he resolved to remain in the USA and through the help of a gracious relative he was able to find employment in the Washington DC area. The hospital that employed him as a supply manager also sponsored his application for US residency.

His employment at Prince George’s Hospital lasted for eight years after which he worked for a local company that exported medical supplies to the Middle East. In 1995 he was hired by Féderàted Stores to work as a sales associate for Bloomingdale’s in Rockville, Maryland. While at Bloomingdale’s, he wrote His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip requesting his blessing to enter seminary. His positive response came back in May of 1997 directing him to attend St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York. During his last semester at the seminary he was ordained to the Diaconate on January 9, 2000 and to the priesthood on April 9, 2000. After graduation from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in May of 2000, he was assigned to the pastorate of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

All through his life he has loved the church and had an affinity for the priesthood.

Given this, one would expect that he would have started to prepare for the priesthood upon reaching adulthood. Instead, he went through life tossing and turning allowing himself time to mature and his faith time to grow until God’s calling became too loud to ignore. His entering the ministry came after a long time of prayer and self-examination. It stems from a faith deeply rooted in God and a close relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. Upon celebrating his first Liturgy, he felt that his entire life had fallen into place.

Bishop ALEXANDER was nominated to the sacred episcopacy at a Special Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese held in Pittsburgh, PA in July, 2004, and was elected to the episcopacy by the Local Synod of Bishops in October, 2004. He was consecrated as a bishop at the hand of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus Syria on December 5, 2004.

Bishop ALEXANDER was enthroned as the first Diocesan Bishop of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York at St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, on Sunday June 1, 2005.

Educated

  • American University of Beirut
  • North Texas State University, Bachelor of Arts degree in December of 1978 
  • North Texas State University, Masters of Business Administration 1980 
  • St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York 1997-2000

Ordained

  • Diaconate on January 9, 2000
  • Priesthood on April 9, 2000
  • Elevated to Archimandrite on July 4, 2004
  • Consecrated as Bishop December 5, 2004 by His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV

Ministry

  • St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, Maryland 2000-2004
  • Bishop of Ottawa and the Diocese of Eastern Canada and Upstate New York 2005- present
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