205.251.5057
© Copyright St. Elias Maronite Church • 836 8th Street South, Birmingham, Alabama  35205 • 205-252-3867

Our Clergy and Leaders

Our Pastor

Chorbishop Richard D. Saad, Pastor I was born of Lebanese parents (Saad and Yezback) and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I was baptized at St. Maron Maronite Church there.  I entered seminary in the 9th grade and stayed at Sacred Heart for 7 years until Bishop Zayek came.  I was in the Melkite seminary with 4 other Maronite seminarians for one year and, for Theology,  I was at the Maronite  Seminary in Washington, D.C. In 1971 I was assigned as a Deacon to St. Elias Maronite Church in Birmingham, AL to serve with Chorbishop John Trad.  I was ordained on January 29, 1972 and was assigned to St. Elias.  I have served here since with the exception of one year (1984-85) when I served as Pastor of St. George and St. Anthony parishes in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I was ordained Chorbishop in 2004 and am the third Chorbishop serving St. Elias.  Currently I am the national Spiritual Advisor for NAM and the Vicar General for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. I have served St. Elias for 41 years total.  It is a great Church with the old and the young.  It is a privilege to be their pastor.

Our Subdeacons

Dr. Mark C. Ferris, Subdeacon I was raised in Suburban Maryland outside of Washington, D.C. and went to the University of Maryland for my Undergraduate training. I graduated from the UAB School of Optometry with a Doctorate at age 25. I have been practicing Optometrist since 1988 with special interests in glaucoma and Ortho-k. I am married with two children. As a Subdeacon, we are called for the "Peace and up building of the Holy Church".  As a doctor, I have a gift for teaching on whatever level is appropriate.  I find my skills are especially well suited to ecumenical work and to teaching and inspiring the younger generations. Mr. James Michael Wehby, Subdeacon I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and have lived here all my life, with the exception of the three years active duty in the US Navy. I have received all of my sacraments at St Elias. I have been married to Mitzi Ruth Wehby for 23 years and have raised 2 Stepchildren who are now 35 and 33 which I am proud to call my own. I am a retired State Law Enforcement Agent that specialized in Drug and Alcohol enforcement.  The highlight of my life with the exception of my Wedding Day, was being ordained to Subdeacon on March 29th of this year! My calling to serve came to me about 10 years ago as I watched the late Deacon Joe Stephens serve our church. His persona and reverence strived me to answer the call. Also watching my spiritual mentor for 40 plus years , Chorbishop Saad lead our flock was a big reason. I love working with and get much satisfaction when serving our retired parishioners! They took care of and showed me the way when I was young so it is special to me to get a chance to help them now. I love every aspect of being Subdeacon and hope I can serve my Parish Family for many years to come! In Memoriam Two of our own parishioners have served St. Elias as Subdeacons and then as Deacons. Joseph R. Stephens, Sr. and Samuel J. Wehby were ordained as Subdeacons in December, 1993 by Chorbishop Dominic Ashkar. Joe was ordained as a Deacon on July 22, 2000 by Bishop John Chedid and Sam was ordained as a Deacon on September 18, 2007 by Bishop Robert J. Shaheen. Both served faithfully and assisted in the parish ministry until their untimely deaths. Deacon Joe died on November 10, 2012 and Deacon Sam died on January 15, 2015. Their dedication to St. Elias and their ministry at our parish will never be forgotten. May they rest in peace. About the roles of the Clergy; Pastoral Role of the Deacon The deacon is called to "perform the service of the house of the Lord and his holy altar, and to be the visitor of the orphans and the comforter of the widows." a) To  prepare   the   church  building,   the   sanctuary  and  the  people themselves for worship: b) To fulfill the diaconal interventions of the Liturgy, to prepare the gifts,   pray   the   intercessions,   and   make   the   other   appropriate proclamations; c) With the permission of the Eparchial Bishop, to read the Gospel: d) To preach when called upon by the pastor,  as well as on some established, regular basis in the parish/institution; e) To support, foster and nurture lay ministries within the parish; statutes, pkoorams & gu f) To assist the poor and needy within and outside the parish, to visit, the sick and shut-ins; g) To be available to the priest, bishop and laity for service; h) To lead para-liturgical services, morning and evening prayer, benediction services, devotions, novenas, etc., (without imparting a blessing); to conduct Word and Communion services in nursing   homes, prisons, and other places approved by the pastor: i) To work in ministries mutually agreeable to the pastor and deacon such as: Hospitals, prison, nursing   homes, shelters, etc.; j) Represent pastor and parish in ecumenical and/or interfaith projects k) Counseling, sacramental preparation, religious education, youth work, adult education, etc. Pastoral Role of the Subdeacon The subdeacon is called to be "like the blessed olive (tree) for the edification and upbuilding of the Holy Church." It is the pastoral role of the subdeacon to: a) Prepare the church building and the people themselves for worship; b) Prepare the gifts; to transfer the offerings to the altar; to read the seven canonical epistles of St. Paul and the Acts of the Apostles [when a deacon is not present, he may read from the other epistles attributed to St Paul]; may assume some of the deacon's liturgical functions when the deacon is absent with the exception of reading of the Gospel: c) Assist the priest and congregation during worship; d) In case of pastoral necessity, at the request of the pastor, the Eparchial Bishop may grant the Subdcacon permission to distribute the   Eucharist in the Church and carry the Holy Mystery to the sick and homebound; e) Support and foster the many lay ministries in the parish; f) Assist the poor and needy within and outside of the parish; g) Assist the pastor in other ways that, are mutually agreed upon such as:involvement with youth, catechism, adult education, sacramental preparation: h) Represent the pastor and parish in ecumenical or interfaith projects; i) Work with the National Apostolate of Maronites and other lay apostolates; j) Conduct para-liturgical services such as morning and evening prayers, novenas. devotions; k) Preside at Services of the Word in conjunction with a Communion service, if approved by the pastor, in nursing homes, prisons and other places.
Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church
Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church
Joseph R. Stephens, Sr.                                              Samuel J. Wehby
© Copyright St. Elias Maronite Church • 836 8th Street South, Birmingham, Alabama  35205 • 205-252-3867
205.251.5057

Our Clergy and Leaders

Our Pastor

Chorbishop Richard D. Saad, Pastor I was born of Lebanese parents (Saad and Yezback) and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I was baptized at St. Maron Maronite Church there.  I entered seminary in the 9th grade and stayed at Sacred Heart for 7 years until Bishop Zayek came.  I was in the Melkite seminary with 4 other Maronite seminarians for one year and, for Theology,  I was at the Maronite  Seminary in Washington, D.C. In 1971 I was assigned as a Deacon to St. Elias Maronite Church in Birmingham, AL to serve with Chorbishop John Trad.  I was ordained on January 29, 1972 and was assigned to St. Elias.  I have served here since with the exception of one year (1984- 85) when I served as Pastor of St. George and St. Anthony parishes in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I was ordained Chorbishop in 2004 and am the third Chorbishop serving St. Elias.  Currently I am the national Spiritual Advisor for NAM and the Vicar General for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. I have served St. Elias for 41 years total.  It is a great Church with the old and the young.  It is a privilege to be their pastor.

Our Subdeacons

Dr. Mark C. Ferris, Subdeacon I was raised in Suburban Maryland outside of Washington, D.C. and went to the University of Maryland for my Undergraduate training. I graduated from the UAB School of Optometry with a Doctorate at age 25. I have been practicing Optometrist since 1988 with special interests in glaucoma and Ortho-k. I am married with two children. As a Subdeacon, we are called for the "Peace and up building of the Holy Church".  As a doctor, I have a gift for teaching on whatever level is appropriate.  I find my skills are especially well suited to ecumenical work and to teaching and inspiring the younger generations. Mr. James Michael Wehby, Subdeacon I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and have lived here all my life, with the exception of the three years active duty in the US Navy. I have received all of my sacraments at St Elias. I have been married to Mitzi Ruth Wehby for 23 years and have raised 2 Stepchildren who are now 35 and 33 which I am proud to call my own. I am a retired State Law Enforcement Agent that specialized in Drug and Alcohol enforcement.  The highlight of my life with the exception of my Wedding Day, was being ordained to Subdeacon on March 29th of this year! My calling to serve came to me about 10 years ago as I watched the late Deacon Joe Stephens serve our church. His persona and reverence strived me to answer the call. Also watching my spiritual mentor for 40 plus years , Chorbishop Saad lead our flock was a big reason. I love working with and get much satisfaction when serving our retired parishioners! They took care of and showed me the way when I was young so it is special to me to get a chance to help them now. I love every aspect of being Subdeacon and hope I can serve my Parish Family for many years to come! In Memoriam Two of our own parishioners have served St. Elias as Subdeacons and then as Deacons. Joseph R. Stephens, Sr. and Samuel J. Wehby were ordained as Subdeacons in December, 1993 by Chorbishop Dominic Ashkar. Joe was ordained as a Deacon on July 22, 2000 by Bishop John Chedid and Sam was ordained as a Deacon on September 18, 2007 by Bishop Robert J. Shaheen. Both served faithfully and assisted in the parish ministry until their untimely deaths. Deacon Joe died on November 10, 2012 and Deacon Sam died on January 15, 2015. Their dedication to St. Elias and their ministry at our parish will never be forgotten. May they rest in peace. About the roles of the Clergy; Pastoral Role of the Deacon The deacon is called to "perform the service of the house of the Lord and his holy altar, and to be the visitor of the orphans and the comforter of the widows." a) To  prepare   the   church  building,   the   sanctuary  and  the  people themselves for worship: b) To fulfill the diaconal interventions of the Liturgy, to prepare the gifts,   pray   the   intercessions,   and   make   the   other   appropriate proclamations; c) With the permission of the Eparchial Bishop, to read the Gospel: d) To preach when called upon by the pastor,  as well as on some established, regular basis in the parish/institution; e) To support, foster and nurture lay ministries within the parish; statutes, pkoorams & gu f) To assist the poor and needy within and outside the parish, to visit, the sick and shut-ins; g) To be available to the priest, bishop and laity for service; h) To lead para-liturgical services, morning and evening prayer, benediction services, devotions, novenas, etc., (without imparting a blessing); to conduct Word and Communion services in nursing   homes, prisons, and other places approved by the pastor: i) To work in ministries mutually agreeable to the pastor and deacon such as: Hospitals, prison, nursing   homes, shelters, etc.; j) Represent pastor and parish in ecumenical and/or interfaith projects k) Counseling, sacramental preparation, religious education, youth work, adult education, etc. Pastoral Role of the Subdeacon The subdeacon is called to be "like the blessed olive (tree) for the edification and upbuilding of the Holy Church." It is the pastoral role of the subdeacon to: a) Prepare the church building and the people themselves for worship; b) Prepare the gifts; to transfer the offerings to the altar; to read the seven canonical epistles of St. Paul and the Acts of the Apostles [when a deacon is not present, he may read from the other epistles attributed to St Paul]; may assume some of the deacon's liturgical functions when the deacon is absent with the exception of reading of the Gospel: c) Assist the priest and congregation during worship; d) In case of pastoral necessity, at the request of the pastor, the Eparchial Bishop may grant the Subdcacon permission to distribute the   Eucharist in the Church and carry the Holy Mystery to the sick and homebound; e) Support and foster the many lay ministries in the parish; f) Assist the poor and needy within and outside of the parish; g) Assist the pastor in other ways that, are mutually agreed upon such as:involvement with youth, catechism, adult education, sacramental preparation: h) Represent the pastor and parish in ecumenical or interfaith projects; i) Work with the National Apostolate of Maronites and other lay apostolates; j) Conduct para-liturgical services such as morning and evening prayers, novenas. devotions; k) Preside at Services of the Word in conjunction with a Communion service, if approved by the pastor, in nursing homes, prisons and other places.
Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church Chorbishop Richard D Saad, Pastor St. Elias Maronite Church
Joseph R. Stephens, Sr.                         Samuel J. Wehby