Fr. Rafic Nahra

By: - Published: March 11 Fri, 2022

Fr. Rafic Nahra Available in the following languages:

  • 27/01/1959: Born in Ismailia, Egypt
  • 1987: Entered the Seminary
  • 27/06/1992: Ordained Priest, Diocese of Paris
  • 06/1992–06/1994: Completed studies in Rome
  • 09/1994–09/2001: Spiritual Director and Professor, Ecole Cathédrale in Paris
  • 09/2001–09/2007: Vicar to the Parish Priest, Saint François de Molitor; Professor, Ecole Cathédrale, Paris
  • 09/2004–09/2007: Masters in Jewish Thought at Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Pastoral Service at Saint James Vicariate and Maronite Parish in Jerusalem
  • 09/2007–09/2011: Professor, Bernardin College in Paris; Pastoral service at Saint James Vicariate
  • 09/ 2011–09/2014: Doctoral Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Vicar, Hebrew-speaking community in Jerusalem
  • 09/2014: Responsible for the Hebrew-speaking community in Jerusalem
  • 02/09/2017:  Coordinator – Coordination for Pastoral Among Migrants
  • 21/10/2017–15/08/2021:  Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel
  • 2018–15/08/2021: Patriarchal Vicar for Migrants and Asylum Seekers
  • 15/08/2021: Patriarchal Vicar for Israel

Father Rafic Nahra, of Franco-Lebanese nationality, was born on January 27th, 1959, in Ismailia, Egypt, to a Lebanese family. He grew up in Lebanon and, at the age of 20, he went to France to study engineering. In 1985, he completed a PhD in engineering at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and then worked as an engineer for two years.

In 1987, having become a seminarian for the diocese of Paris, he was sent to the French seminary in Rome for his ecclesiastical studies. He obtained a bachelor's degree in theology from the Gregorian University in 1991, and a bachelor's degree in Scripture from the Biblical Institute of Rome in 1994. As part of his biblical studies, he was sent to Jerusalem from February to September 1993.

Ordained a priest in 1992 by Bishop Jean-Marie Lustiger for the Diocese of Paris, he received various pastoral and academic assignments: from 1994 to 2001, he was spiritual director at the Maison Saint-Augustin and teacher of biblical exegesis at the École Cathédrale de Paris; from 2001 to 2004, he was vicar at the parish of Saint-François de Molitor, while teaching biblical exegesis.

Being committed to interreligious dialogue, the diocese of Paris sent him to Jerusalem in 2004 on a study mission. He completed a Master's degree in Jewish thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Thanks to his studies, he served the Maronite parish of Jerusalem and began to serve in the Vicariate of St. James for Hebrew-speaking Catholics, particularly in the work of liturgical translation.

From September 2007 until September 2011, he ministered between Paris and Jerusalem: six months a year in Paris, where he was curate at the parish of Saint-Augustin, teaching and directing the research center "Judaism and Christianity" at the Collège des Bernardins; and six months serving as a priest in the Saint James Vicariate. During these same years, he began a Doctorate in Judeo-Arabic literature to obtain, in 2017, the title of Doctor of Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In September 2014, he was appointed parish priest of the Hebrew-speaking Catholic Community of Jerusalem, who gathers at the convent of Saint Symeon and Saint Anne. 

In September 2017, he succeeded Fr. David Neuhaus as coordinator for the Pastoral Care of Migrants in Israel. In October 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, appointed him Patriarchal Vicar of the Vicariate of St. James for Hebrew-speaking Catholics, and on Pentecost 2018, he also appointed him Patriarchal Vicar for Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

In September 2021, H.B. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Patriarch of Jerusalem, appointed him Patriarchal Vicar for Israel.