Members of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn are mourning the recent death of their beloved Bishop Emeritus, Bishop Stephen Hector Doueihi, who passed away on Dec. 17 at the age of 87 after a long illness.
A funeral mass took place at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral at 109 Remsen St. on Dec. 22. The bishop was buried in his native Lebanon.
Bishop Doueihi was appointed by Pope John Paul II as bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn on Nov. 23, 1996 and served as the eparchy’s spiritual leader for many years. The Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is the diocese representing Maronite Catholics in New York and several other states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maryland.
In addition to his role as a clergyman, Bishop Doueihi was also a well known and widely respected teacher. He taught at the Seminary of Our Lady of Lebanon in Washington D.C. and was a professor of Theology at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut, among other academic institutions. He was fluent in seven languages: Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Syriac and Latin.
Stephen Hector Doueihi was born to Youssef and Hassiba Zakhia Doueihi in Zgharta, Lebanon on June 25, 1927.
He was ordained into the priesthood on Aug. 14, 1955. Following his ordination he lived in Rome where he earned a doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
In 1959, he returned to Lebanon and served as pastor of the Parish of Zgharta until 1969. Over the years, he served as the spiritual leader of many parishes in the U.S. and Mexico, including churches in Puebla, Mexico, Peoria, Illinois, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, San Antonio, Texas and Washington D.C.
He was elevated to the rank of monsignor in 1983.
He was named rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn in 1989, the same year that he was ordained a chorbishop, a rank just below bishop. He was appointed a bishop in 1996. His enthronement ceremony took place at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral on Feb. 5, 1997.
Maronite Catholics and members of the clergy from all over the world attended the Bishop Doueihi’s funeral, according to members of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.