During an extraordinary session on Feb. 23, 2023, in Balamand, Lebanon, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, Patriarch of the Holy City of Antioch and All the East, with the Holy Synod of Antioch, elected His Eminence Metropolitan Saba to lead the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. This includes the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, to which All Saints Orthodox Church in Salina, KS, belongs.
About Metropolitan Saba
His Eminence now leads and oversees the Archdiocese’s parishes, missions, departments, institutions and organizations in the United States and Canada from the headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The auxiliary bishops aid him in his administration across the continent.
Metropolitan Saba was born in Latakia, Syria in 1959. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Tishreen, in Latakia, Syria, and a bachelor’s degree in theology from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand, Lebanon.
His Eminence is fluent in Arabic and English.
Prior to his election as Metropolitan of North America, His Eminence co-founded The Hauran Connection of the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran with the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. This charitable project enhances Orthodoxy in this ancient Christian land in the face of strife. The Hauran is a region that spans parts of southern Syria and northern Jordan. More than $1 million has been raised in more than 15 years.
Developmental projects and charitable endowments for the Bosra Archdiocese under Metropolitan Saba include a medical clinic in As-Suwayda, dormitories for 150 university students in As-Suwayda and Daraa; 48 studio apartments for retirees in The House of Love; the Bethany Spiritual Retreat Center in Kharaba; Bread for All that distributes food to the poor regardless of religion; ongoing agricultural projects; and The Good Samaritan, a multifaceted charitable organization for parishioners displaced or affected by the recent Syrian war.
His Eminence was ordained a priest in 1988 and elevated to the dignity of archimandrite in 1994. He pastored St. Michael the Archangel Church in the Archdiocese of Latakia until 1998. During that time, Metropolitan Saba edited and published the Orthodox Christian magazine Farah, geared toward children and families.
In 1998, Metropolitan Saba was elected and consecrated as an auxiliary bishop to His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV of thrice-blessed memory. In 1999, His Beatitude and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected him as metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran, and Jabal Al-Arab in Syria.
Simultaneously with his pastoral and episcopal duties, for 11 years His Eminence served as instructor of “Pastoral Care” and “Introduction to the Old Testament” at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand, Lebanon, from 1995-2006.
His Eminence established a publishing house in the Bosra Archdiocese, the Al-Arabiya magazine for adults, and continued issuing Farah for children. An English version has been produced since 2010. Metropolitan Saba authors weekly articles on his Facebook page and has written on various topics in Al-Noor, Patriarchal and Al Arabiya magazines. He has authored a number of books in pastoral life and theology.
Metropolitan Saba has also translated a number of titles from English to Arabic, including works by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev and Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko.
His Eminence’s patron saint is St. Saba (Sabbas) the Sanctified, commemorated on Dec. 5.
The Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified was a Palestinian monastic who is credited with composing the first monastic rule of church services, the so-called "Jerusalem Typikon." St. Sabbas championed the Orthodox cause against the monophysite and Origenist movements of his day, personally calling upon the Roman emperors in Constantinople, Anastasius I in 511 and Justinian in 531, to influence them in opposing the heretical movements.