On Thursday, Feb 27, 2014, for the first time in nearly a century, a married deacon, Wissam Akiki, was ordained a priest by the Maronite Catholic Church in the United States — and his wife and daughter were able to be on hand to celebrate with him.
Hundreds of supporters, including some of the Dominican friars and other Aquinas Institute of Theology members, attended the ceremony at St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri. Bishop Elias Zaidan of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, was the ordaining prelate.
Fr. Wissam completed seminary studies at Holy Spirit University in Lebanon, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, D.C., and Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.
“We are very proud of our student, Wissam, and we ask for God’s blessing on him, his wife, his daughter, and his new priestly ministry,” said Fr. Dave Caron, OP, President of Aquinas Institute of Theology.
(Pictured above): Fr. Wassam, dressed in black, stands to the left of Bishop Zayden, flanked by Fr. David Wright, OP and Fr. David Caron, OP, President of Aquinas Institute of Theology, who both concelebrated the ordination.