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Saint Anthony of Padua

"Give all of yourself and God will give you all of Himself." -Saint Anthony of Padua

Celebrating 110 Years

Mission Statement

“A Maronite Catholic Community of Faith; Celebrating an Eastern Tradition and Serving the Garden in Which We Have Been Placed."


Saint Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church of Cincinnati, Ohio exists to Glorify the Lord and serve the Gospel.


 Our people of God are gathered around our Bishop and our Pastor in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and Eucharist.


We value our Maronite Eastern Catholic Church and will promote the understanding of our Maronite identity to:

  • Collaborate in unity and in faith with our Brothers and Sisters in the Maronite Church under the guidance of the Maronite Patriarch and in communion with the Holy Father.

  • Respect and speak out for the dignity of human life while denouncing injustice and violations of human rights and upholding the dignity of the human person.

  • Promote the full unity of the church.

  • Promote the Eparchial Mission.

  • Be a growing and welcoming Church.

  • Show respect, understanding, compassion, empathy, tolerance, and love among our parishioners and towards all people.

  • Serve each other in our parish Community, in Greater Cincinnati and beyond.

  • Promote an understanding of the Maronite Church both within the parish Community and outside of it.

Mission Statement

Our Patron Saints

Saint Anthony Maronite Church

St. Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints. Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost and stolen articles, was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. He’s typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms. 

Anthony was born in 1195 (13 years after St. Francis) in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Franciscans allowed Anthony to go to Morocco, to be a witness for Christ, and a martyr as well. But, as often happens, the gift he wanted to give was not the gift that was to be asked of him.

Anthony traveled tirelessly in both northern Italy and southern France—perhaps 400 trips—choosing to enter the cities where the heretics were strongest. Anthony preferred to present the grandeur of Christianity in positive ways. It was no good to prove people wrong: Anthony wanted to win them to the right, the healthiness of real sorrow and conversion, the wonder of reconciliation with a loving Father.


Why invoking St. Anthony in help finding what is lost?

The reason for invoking St. Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen things is traced back to an incident in his own life. As the story goes, Anthony had a book of psalms that was very important to him. Besides the value of any book before the invention of printing, the psalter had the notes and comments he had made to use in teaching students in his Franciscan Order.

A novice who had already grown tired of living religious life decided to depart the community. Besides going AWOL he also took Anthony’s psalter! Upon realizing his psalter was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned to him. And after his prayer the thieving novice was moved to return the psalter to Anthony and to return to the Order, which accepted him back.

The Chapel of Saint Aquilina of Byblos

The Holy Martyr Aquilina, a native of the Phoenician city of Byblos, suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Her parents raised her in Christian piety. When the girl was only twelve years old, she persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. One of the servants of the imperial governor Volusian accused her of teaching others not to follow the religion of their fathers. The girl firmly confessed her faith in Christ before the governor and said that she would not renounce Him.

When they led the saint to execution, she prayed and gave thanks to God for allowing her to suffer for His Holy Name.

A voice was heard in answer to her prayer, summoning her to the heavenly Kingdom. Before the executioner could carry out the sentence, the martyr gave up her spirit to God (+ 293). The executioner feared to disobey the governor’s orders, so he cut off her head although she was already dead.

Christians piously buried the martyr’s body. Later, her relics were taken to Constantinople and placed in a church named for her.

Our Patron Saints
The Ordained and Councils

The Ordained and Councils

Our Pastor,

Rev. Father GEorge Hajj

Ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ on July 5th 2013, at the Maronite Convention in Tampa FL. 

Fr. George C. Hajj, was appointed to serve our parish on October 1st 2014.  

Born in 1976 and raised in Lebanon, Fr. Hajj lived in the United since 2001. He holds a Masters degree in Archeology, a Bachelor degree in business management, and an MDiv (Masters in Divinity) from The Catholic University of America. 

He was on the Inter-Eparchial History Committee & on the Committee for the tour of St. Sharbel's relics to the United States.

He is Vice President of the Maronite Seminary's Alumni association and he serves on the Eparchial presbyteral council.

The Ordained and Councils

Our Bishop, His excellency

A. Elias Zaidan

Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. Ordained September 28, 2013. The Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles is an Eastern-Catholic Maronite Diocese that serves the Maronite Catholics from California to Ohio. 

The Eparchy was formed officially in March 1, 1991, transitioning from the original Eparchy of St. Maron in Brooklyn, New York, which originally served the Maronites of the entire United States.

Visited our parish: 

February 27-March 1, 2015
June 30-July 2, 2016
August 12-13, 2017
March 8-10, 2019

Our Holy Father,

Pope Francis

The Pope is the Pontif of the Universal Church. The Maronite Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church, (sui juris), one of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. 

The Pope blessed those representing the Maronite Foundation and the Lebanese authorities. “May the Lord bless you, your families, your homeland, your sons and daughters, and your refugees.”

Our Patriarch, His Beatitude Mar Beshara Peter Cardinal Rai

The Maronite Church is Patriarchal. Our Patriarch Beshara Peter Raii is the 77th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Maronite Church, a position he has held since March, 15 2011. He also holds the position of a Cardinal of the Catholic Church.

The Maronite Church has ancient roots going back to the Apostles through the Patriarchate of Antioch where “we were first called Christians.” (Acts 11:26)

Patriarch Rai, visited our parish on July 1-2, 2016.

Today our patriarch resides in Lebanon.  The Maronite Church has always been in communion with the Pope of Rome.


Subdeacon Tom Simon

Rev. Father (Abouna) George Hajj

Subdeacon Donald George Jr.

Born on December 31st 1958 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinatti, Ohio.


Baptized at St. Anthony's Church in February of 1959 by Monseigneur Abood. I received my First Communion by Monseigneur Abood in October of 1967. I was Ordained Subdeacon in January of 2007 also at Saint Anthonys.

Happily married to Kimberly Simon in June of 1988.


"This is where I belong and where I shall die God willing!"

Ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ on July 5th 2013, at the Maronite Convention in Tampa FL. Fr. George C. Hajj, was appointed to serve our parish on October 1st 2014.  

Born in 1976 and raised in Lebanon, Fr. Hajj lived in the United since 2001. He holds a Masters degree in Archeology, a Bachelor degree in business management, and an MDiv (Masters in Divinity) from The Catholic University of America. 

He was on the Inter-Eparchial History Committee & on the Committee for the tour of St. Sharbel's relics to the United States.

He is Vice President of the Maronite Seminary's Alumni association and he serves on the Eparchial presbyteral council.

Born of Lebanese and German/Swiss descent and baptized “Anthony” at Saint Anthony of Padua in 1961 by Father Joseph Abood. Attended Saint Vincent Ferrer Catholic grade school and Archbishop Moeller Catholic High School. Earned Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from University of Cincinnati and worked 17 years in field of Industrial Design. Registered Investment Advisor worked in Finance for 15 years. Began as Lector at Saint Anthony and ordained Subdeacon in 2010. Worked extensively with Pastoral Advisory and Parish Stewardship councils since mid-1990’s. Completed Camino Frances route of Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across northwest Spain with sister. Enjoy road cycling and motorcycling and compete in competitive pistol matches.  Enjoy fitness and spending time with family. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. ~1 Peter 4:10


The Members of our Parish Council:

Mr. Gaby Batshoun     (Chairman)
Mrs. Esther Bou Abdo     (Secretary)
Mr. Christopher Klaine
Mrs. Lara Morris
Ms. Sheila Saab (Vice Chaiperson)


Rev. Mr. Donald George jr. (Liaison with Finance Council)

The Parish Council is the consultative and policy-making body of our Parish, which represents the total Parish community in its work of reflection, decision-making, and evaluation of policies and programs that affect the parishioners to grow more fully human and Christian.




The Members of our Finance council are:

Ms. Rose AbiRadi

Mrs. Ghada Abou Khalil

Mr. Paul Pettit (Secretary)

Ms. Cathy Sarky

Mr. Eric Thiemann (Chairperson)

Rev. Mr. Donald George jr. (Liaison with Pastoral council)

The Parish Finance Council assists the pastor in the administration of parish temporal matters.


History of our Local Community

History of Our Local Community

Founding parishioners came to Cincinnati during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from the Middle East, fleeing the Ottoman persecutions and World War I. Many families from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt etc. established their life here and gathered as a parish. The Maronite Liturgy began to be celebrated, with Rev. Beshara Kayata as first pastor, in a building on Third and Broadway streets. Records indicate St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church, was established in late 1910, with the first service being held in a former church on West Third Street near a Pennsylvania depot. The church moved to a former residence on Third Street in 1922 under a 99-year lease.

The parish was served by Maronite priests until 1939, and archdiocesan priests celebrated Sunday liturgies until 1948, when the late Msgr. Joseph Abood came to Cincinnati from Lebanon and was appointed pastor. He served the church for the next 40 years. (1948-1987). He made the parish a very strong parish when he was pastor. He laid the foundation for what the church really is today. Under his early leadership the parish grew and purchased the Third Street property. The church was forced to move in 1955 to make way for a roadway extension project. Msgr. Abood led St. Anthony’s in purchasing a building on Victory Parkway that was originally built as a Jewish synagogue in 1915 and sold to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1941.

The parish celebrated liturgies in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains for about a year while the new building was renovated. An adjacent house was purchased to serve as a rectory, but has since been rebuilt. Over the years adjoining houses were purchased to expand parking facilities. In 1981, a Maronite Center capable of holding 500 people was dedicated by then-Bishop John Chedid of the Maronite Church and then-Archbishop of Cincinnati Joseph Bernardin. The center was named after Msgr. Abood. 

Founding parishioners typically came to Cincinnati to escape Ottoman Empire persecutions prior to World War I, while more recent families fled the civil war in Lebanon and the Middle East in the 1970s and 1980s. In the mid-80s and 90s, the Maronite clergy and community of St. Anthony of Padua helped and assisted in establishing and building the Maronite community of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Dayton, OH. In 2010 the parish celebrated its centennial, and was visited by the Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai, in 2016. Today St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church is a vibrant community serving hundreds of Maronites and Eastern Catholic faithful in the Metropolitan Cincinnati area, Northern and central Kentucky, and Indiana with the establishment by the Grace of God, of Our Lady of Cana Maronite mission in Indianapolis in 2023. 

The priests who served our parish

  1. Reverend Bechara Kayata          1910-1911

  2. Chorbishop Tobias Dahdah       1911-1933

  3. Reverend Joseph Awad               1927-1928

  4. Reverend Peter Sfeir                    1930-1931

  5. Reverend Arthur Froehie            1933-1934

  6. Chorbishop Louis Zouain            1934-1939

  7. Reverend James Hurley               1939-1941

  8. Reverend James Hoban               1941-1942

  9. Reverend Edward Kotter             1942-1945

  10. Reverend Charles Moore             1945-1948

  11. Monsignor Joseph Abood            1948-1987

  12. Reverend James Root                   1987-1993

  13. Reverend Thomas Coover           1993-1996

  14. Reverend Louis Baz                      1996-1997

  15. Reverend Ghattas Khoury           1997-2003

  16. Reverend Anthony Salim             2003-2007

  17. Monsignor Louis Baz                    2007-2009

  18. Reverend David Fisher                 2009-2014

  19. Reverend George Hajj                  2014-present

A priest is one who makes Christ visible. The people see Christ in the saintly priests and they seek even to touch his robes as they did the robes of Christ. Children come to him without fear; non-Catholics give to them a reverence which they rarely give to others. The sure measure by which a priest draws souls to Christ is also the means by which he can drive souls from Christ. (Ven. Fulton J. Sheen; Those Mysterious Priests)

Please Visit the Past Major Events page HERE

And Our Albums HERE

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