LEWISTON – The Rev. Robert A. Parent will celebrate a Byzantine Paschal Eucharistic Liturgy at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 22. Stephen McGrath, a deacon candidate for the Melkite Church, will lead the chanting of the Divine Liturgy.

Parent is a Byzantine Greek-Catholic priest of the Diocese of Newton, Mass., for the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church. He was born and raised in Lewiston and was ordained in 1986 for the Melkite Greek-Catholic Diocese of the United States.

He served Melkite parishes in Central Falls, R.I.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Scranton, Pa.; and Danbury, Conn. Parent is bi-ritual in the Roman Rite and is working for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland as the administrator of the parishes of Our Lady of the Rosary in Sabattus, St. Francis Mission in Greene and St. Ambrosia of Milan in Richmond.

The Melkite Greek-Catholic Church is one of the Eastern churches in communion with Rome. It follows the Byzantine Rite, the second largest rite in the church after the Roman Rite.

It stems from the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch, where St. Peter was first bishop before coming to Rome, and is governed by Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and all the East.

The Melkites, as they are called, came to the United States over a century ago from the Middle East. Their churches are scattered throughout the United States, which forms one diocese governed by the bishop for the Melkite Greek-Catholics in the U.S. Cyril Boutros.

All are invited to attend the liturgy and anyone interested in the Byzantine Catholic Churches or a member who is interested in future services is invited to see Parent after the liturgy or contact him at Our Lady of the Rosary at 375-6581.

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