PARISH HISTORY AT A GLANCE
■ Fr. John Elya (Bishop John), came and celebrated the first Divine Liturgy on Sunday of the Forefathers, December 11, 1983. There were over seventy Melkite families.
■ Fr. John returned to Phoenix each quarter of 1984 to serve the spiritual needs of the community.
■ The Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) held its 1984 Fall meeting in Phoenix.
■ Shortly after this meeting Archimandrite Max Chalhoub made semi-monthly trips to Phoenix to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. Stephen Byzantine Catholic Church and then at the Cedars Club. The community was given the name of St. John of the Desert Melkite Catholic Mission.
■ In June 1985 the community began to worship at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church then in November at St. Thomas Church at the invitation of Rev. Robert Skagen.
■ Fr. Max Chalhoub moved to Phoenix in December 1985 and became the first full-time priest.
■ In October 1986 the Community purchased the Osborn property.
■ At that time, St. John of the Desert Melkite Catholic Mission was raised to the status of parish Church. According to the records of Fr. Max, the community consisted of about forty committed families.
■ In October 1993, Fr. Max was succeeded by Archimandrite Adib Badaoui.
■ Not enjoying the best of health, Fr. Adib took a six month leave of absence and submitted his resignation.
■ In March 1995, Rev. Basil Samra became the community’s third pastor.
■ In June 2000, Fr. Basil was succeeded by Rev. Samir Aboulail
■ In October 2001 Fr. Peter Boutros became the community’s fifth pastor. Soon after his arrival, the Osborn property was sold and the community began to worship at St. Joan of Arc.
■ In August 2005, the building of the new church was started and dedicated on January 6, 2006