The History of Saint Rafka Maronite Catholic Church, Greer, South Carolina

As compiled by Linda Wickett and Others - 2016

Dreams do come true, especially when God is with those who dream.

In the late 1800s, Maronite Catholic families from the Middle East -- primarily Lebanon and Syria - -migrated to the Greenville, South Carolina area drawn by the prospect of finding work, primarily in the textile industry. Although there was no Maronite church, there was a Catholic church, Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, and it is there that these Maronite Catholics worshipped and came to know each other. Saint Mary’s became not only a place to worship God and thank Him, but a place to connect with a goodly number of people who shared similar customs, languages, and food, a place to feel at home away from home...
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At this point Bishop Gregory asked Marlene Saad to continue to keep the community together with events and such. Before a month had elapsed, Father Peter Boulos was appointed by the Eparchy as Proto-presbyter of the Far South Region that included Saint Rafka Maronite Mission. And on August 14, 2004, Father Boulos started celebrating masses for Saint Rafka’s Mission on Saturday evenings at the Monastery of Saint Clare and did so for about a year. Right before the end of December, 2004, Bishop Gregory came to visit the Saint Rafka Maronite Mission to encourage the community to stay together, to persevere...
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Abouna Bartholomew Leon, OSB

Father Bart has been the pastor of Saint Rafka Maronite Catholic Church since 2006.

Fr. Bart is a native of New Orleans, LA.