John Denver Faris,

John D Faris.jpg
Portrait of John Denver Faris
DioceseMaronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
OrdinationJuly 17, 1976
by Francis Mansour Zayek
ConsecrationSeptember 23, 1991
by Francis Mansour Zayek
Personal details
John Denver Faris

(1951-01-18) January 18, 1951 (age 71)
DenominationMaronite Church
ParentsJohn M. and Goldie (née Bowlen) Faris
Alma mater
Styles of
John Denver Faris
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Reference styleThe Reverend Monsignor
Spoken styleReverend Monsignor
Religious styleChorbishop

John Denver Faris (born January 18, 1951) is an American Chorbishop of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, serving the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. He is a canon lawyer of the Eastern Catholic Church, and an expert called upon for dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Christian Churches.

Early life

Faris was born in 1951 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of John M. Faris and his wife, Goldie Bowlen. He attended Charles E. Boyle Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Junior High School, and Uniontown Area High School. In 1968 he enrolled at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. While studying there, he felt called to serve as a priest and transferred to Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972. While residing at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) in 1975. He then pursued studies in moral theology at the Alphonsianum.

Archbishop Francis Mansour Zayek ordained him to the priesthood on 17 July 1976 at St. George Church in Uniontown.[1]

Faris then returned to Rome and In 1980 he was awarded a Doctor of Eastern Canon Law (magna cum laude) from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, with a dissertation on The Communion of Catholic Churches: Ecclesiology and Terminology.[1]


After completing his doctorate, Faris was named the Vice Rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Brooklyn. Upon completing a year of service there, he was appointed Vice Chancellor of the eparchy. In 1980, he was appointed Chancellor, and later Protosyncellus (Vicar General), of the eparchy, serving in these offices until 1996. During this period, he was named a Chaplain of His Holiness in 1988 by Pope John Paul II and later ordained a chorbishop of the Maronite Church by Zayek in 1991.[1]

From 1996 to 2009, Faris served in a variety of positions at the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), finally serving as Deputy Secretary General. While serving with this special papal agency dedicated to assisting the Eastern Churches, Faris traveled extensively in the Middle East, India, northeastern Africa and Eastern Europe and was involved in the fund-raising initiatives of the agency.

In June 2009, Faris was appointed pastor of St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church in Utica, New York. He also serves as a judge on the Tribunal of the eparchy.[2]

In June 2018, Faris was appointed pastor of Saint Anthony Church in Glen Allen, Virginia, effective 1 September 2018. He was additionally appointed Editor of The Maronite Voice and all electronic media and director of the Office of Communications of the Eparchy of Saint Maron.

Canon Law

Further information: Canon law of the Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic canon law

Faris serves as an assistant professor in the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Since 2020, he has lectured in the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and the Institute of Oriental Canon Law of the Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram in Bangalore, India.

A member since 1984, he was elected President of the Canon Law Society of America in 1994, and later served as the chairman of the ad hoc committee responsible for the preparation of the most recent English translation of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.[3] He has also been elected the Secretary General of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches (1991-2000). He served as a consultor for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a part of its Liaison Committee for Latin and Eastern Church Affairs (1992–96). In January 2018, Faris was appointed Chair of the CLSA Eastern Churches Committee for a three-year term.

Faris is also a member of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Canon Law Society of India, the Eastern Canon Law Society of India and the Society of Eastern Canon law. He serves on the editorial boards of various journals in his field: Eastern Canon Law, Eastern Legal Thought and Gratianus.

Ecumenical Dialogues

Faris serves as a Catholic Representative on the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation and the United States Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation. From 2007 - 2011, he served as a member of the Catholic Delegation on the Joint Working Group, a liaison body of the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches.[4] In 2019, Faris was appointed by the Council for Promoting the Unity of Christians to the Catholic Delegation of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

Faris was named a Titular Canon of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, with the rank of Knight Commander with Star (conferred on 23 November 2013). In September 2010, he received the Order's highest honor, the Golden Palm of Jerusalem, for his dedication to and work for the Christians of the Holy Land. He is a member of the Board of Councillors of the Eastern Lieutenancy of the Order for the United States. He is involved in recruiting new members and provides extensive lectures on the Order and the Holy Land. He has recently been serving as spiritual director for seminarians on Holy Land pilgrimages sponsored by the Eastern Lieutenancy.[1] Despite his numerous visits and pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Faris only received the "Pilgrim's Shell" from His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa in March 2017. On the same pilgrimage he received the Franciscan Cross in recognition of his charity towards the poor in the Holy Land.


In 2011, Faris was presented by the Canon Law Society of America with their Role of Law Award for his outstanding contributions to canonical science.[3]

Faris was appointed Chaplain iure sanguinis of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.[1]

Presentations and writings


Book reviews


  1. ^ a b c d e "Pastoral Staff: Chorbishop John D. Faris :: Biography". Saint Louis Gonzaga Church.
  2. ^ "Eparchy: Statistical Information". Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25.
  3. ^ a b "Current Society News: Meetings/Conventions: Role of Law Awarded". Canon Law Society of America. October 13, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Joint Working Group
  5. ^ St. Maron Publications Archived 2008-11-02 at the Wayback Machine