JERUSALEM – On September 2, 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, appointed Fr. Rafiq Nahra new coordinator for Coordination of the Pastoral Among Migrants.
Father Rafiq was born in 1959 in Ismailiya, Egypt to a family of Lebanese origin. He immigrated to Paris as a young man and studied civil engineering there, working afterwards for two and a half years as an engineer.
In 1987, Father Rafiq became a seminarian for the Diocese of Paris and did his theology studies in Rome. Thereafter, he continued his studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.
On June 27, 1992, he was ordained a priest in Paris by Archbishop Jean-Marie Lustiger.
In 1993, he spent eight months in Jerusalem during his studies and completed his license in Sacred Scripture.
In September 2004, he arrived in Jerusalem and immediately joined the Saint James Vicariate. For the next 13 years, he divided his time between his studies at Hebrew University (where he concluded a MA and a PhD in Jewish Thought) and his management of the Lustiger House in Jerusalem, belonging to the Diocese of Paris. However, throughout this period, he was involved in the life of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities: he participated in the priests’ meetings, headed the liturgical commission, translated prayers, composed songs, was responsible for the studies of the Vicariate’s seminarian and in recent years was also responsible for the Jerusalem kehillah.
Father Rafiq has gotten to know the Church of the Holy Land very well and has also helped the Maronite Diocese in its hour of need. In recent years, he could often be found with the children of the migrant communities in the Saint Rachel Center in Jerusalem. He speaks Hebrew, Arabic, French, English and Italian.
Source: Saint James Vicariate