Name of Church St. Joseph Maronite Church
Address 5406 E. Virginia Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone number (602) 667-3280
Liturgy times (also called Divine Mysteries) Saturday vigil, 6 p.m. (Spanish Mass) Sundays, 11 a.m. (English, Arabic and Aramaic) Weekdays, 7 p.m. The Divine Mysteries in the Maronite rite make use of the Syriac language, a form of Aramaic which Jesus spoke. Priests also wear different vestments from the Latin rite. The Divine Mysteries place a great emphasis on the Trinity and the Holy Spirit. Congregations rarely kneel but stand, the faithful bow to the tabernacle rather than genuflect, incense is frequently used and Holy Communion is by intinction (the Host is dipped into the chalice and given to the communicant on the tongue, not the hand). The consecration is done in Aramaic.
Confessions Before or after Divine Liturgy, or by appointment.
Names of priests Fr. Wissam Akiki, pastor. Fr. Akiki is married and has two children; he was the first married man to be ordained for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, an Eastern rite community in union with Rome. He is originally from Lebanon, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2014. Listen to Fr. Akiki preach here and here.
Special groups/activities St. Rafka Ladies Guild, youth ministry
Music The liturgy is sung.
Fellow parishioners While the church is open to all, its special focus is the promotion of the Maronite Catholic faith and Lebanese culture. On the first weekend of November, for example, the church presents an American Lebanese Festival (learn the traditional Lebanese dance, Dabke). The parish also has a significant Hispanic community.
Parking There is plenty of parking around the church
Additional observations St. Joseph Maronite Church was established in 1997. It occupies a former Baptist Church, converted for Catholic worship, including the addition of an Eastern Rite altar. In 2016, it was designated a pilgrimage destination church by the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, and in 2017, dedicated the largest shrine of St. Sharbel in North America. The church is open to visitors daily. The church is currently undergoing a renovation to its facilities.
The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church which is in union with the Pope. The church has a patriarch, and over 40 bishops who shepherd eparchies (dioceses) throughout the world, including two in the United States. The Eastern rite eparchy (diocese) serves 50,000 registered Maronite Catholics (and many more unregistered) in 42 churches and missions, including St. Joseph, in the western United States, is under the authority of Bishop Elias Zaidan and is in union with Rome. Bishop Zaidan visited the church in 2017 to participate in dedication ceremonies of its new Shrine of St. Sharbel; watch the festivities here and here.