Born in Sarba on 25 October 1960, Ordained priest 18 Aug 1990, Appointed bishop of Saida on 24 Sep 2005, Confirmed bishop of Saida on 28 Dec 2005, Ordained Bishop 11 Feb 2006.
From birth to priesthood it was 30 years, hard to believe he spent over 11 years preparing to be a priest, a little research revealed that he graduated from AUB in 1983 with a BE (bachelor of Engineering?) degree of all majors, then he answered the call.
Fr. Elias Nassar, parish priest of Jezzine in the Eparchy of Saïd, (was ordained) Bishop of Saïd of the Maronites (Catholics 83,000, priests 85, religious 80) in Lebanon. The Bishop elect was born in 1960 in Sarba (Lebanon), was ordained priest in 1990.
This Note appeared in the AUB magazine:
Father Elias Nassar (BE ‘83) was elected Archbishop of the Maronite Archdiocese of Saida. Father Nassar was elected by the Council of Bishops of the Maronite Church headed by Maronite Patriarch Mar Nassrallah Butrus Sfeir.
This article quoting him during last year's Hizballah war on Lebanon give an insight on the way he thinks:
Christian villages in Lebanon under fire
Thursday, August 10th , 2006
Christian villages in southern Lebanon have come under fire prompting an urgent appeal for help from a bishop whose people are faced with the stark choice of fleeing their homes or living with the threat of being bombed.
In a detailed report on his diocese of Saida, Bishop Elias Nassar said that among the many areas which have come under attack were seven Christian villages, which he said had been totally devastated, forcing a mass evacuation of up to 2,000 people.
He said further – less severe – attacks had caused damage to another 22 Christian villages with many thousands more fleeing the area.
In his report to the charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Nassar said that many villagers were desperate to stay in their homes if at all possible, fearing that if they left, the chances of returning were slim, especially in the short-term.
As yet, homes had not been targeted in most cases but the bishop did report bomb damage to some houses and flats.
The bishop spoke of how local communities were increasingly calling on the Church for emergency help.
He said: “People here want to know – can things get any worse? They are very afraid. They have run out of the most basic of supplies. They keep asking me for help and I have nothing to give them.”
Despite serious disruption to communications, with roads impassable, bridges in ruins and power lines down, he said the Church’s infrastructure would enable him to get emergency aid through to villages in some of the most remote areas.
He listed the priorities as food, clean water, milk and medicine.
The bishop said emergency aid channeled through the Government of Lebanon had tended to priorities Muslims, overlooking the plight of Christians whose situation was in some cases just as bad if not worse.
Bishop Nassar said the Christian villages had been targeted was because armed Hezbollah forces had infiltrated the region.
According to the bishop, those fleeing the region had mostly gone to friends and relatives in and around the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
But their safety is still not assured amid widespread reports of attacks late last week on Christian cities north of Beirut in the Mount Lebanon region. On Monday (07 Aug), evening bombs fell on a suburb of Beirut populated by Christians.
The bishop said faith was a vital support to the people. “They are very strong in faith,” he said. “They have no other way of being strong other than their trust in the Lord. It is their last resort.”
Lebanon has for many years been seen by Church leaders as a sanctuary for Christians in the Middle East and the clash between Hezbollah and Israel has prompted fears that an exodus of Christians from the region could spell disaster for the survival of the Church in the whole region.
Aid to the Church in Need has launched an appeal for emergency aid in Lebanon and Israel. Three aid packages totaling more than €50,000 have been sent via Church leaders to southern Lebanon, northern Israel and the Gaza Strip.
شمعون: حرام أن يعير احد عون أهمية لأن دواءه ليس عندنا بل في العصفورية
الجوزو: لقد سقط لبنان وسقطت حكوماته، بفضل إرهاب حزب الله