Father Jean El-Murr

Biography

My whole life is a calling of love, mercy and grace. In the beginning, I was called out from the womb of my mother, out of nothingness, into being on Epiphany 1958. This is the great treasury that was bestowed on me of being born from a Christian family. From then until today, the road was paved with God's grace, mercy and love. Though it was very tough, His vigilance, benevolence and compassion that were shed over me, have overshadowed all my weaknesses and sins.

So my biography is just a recall of these callings from the wilderness of my soul to His great kingdom. I recall that I was called out from the dirty and uncivil war in Lebanon in 1976 to Abu Dhabi where I realized that I needed a kidney transplant, which was successfully transplanted in London, England from my brother TONI who is now resting in the bosom of God since 6 months ago from a liver disease. Another call has set me out of this strange land to a land that God has prepared in order to continue the passage into salvation. This time was the call to arrive to Canada, where, especially in Montreal, my spiritual emptiness and hunger were going to be filled at the doorsteps of St George Antiochian Orthodox Church. Hence is the commencement of my spiritual progressive process by volunteering, learning, applying praxis to learned theories and getting involved in Bible study groups and Sunday school. While this spiritual growth was undertaken, my carrier at a textiles factory, St Lawrence Textiles, was developing quickly. In a short time I resumed the position of Traffic Manager.

Feb, 27, 1993 was another date filled by God's benevolence where I was called to the sacrament of Matrimony to be joined to Souhaila, a messenger from God. From her, I learned applied theology in the real and true sense. Words have neither capabilities nor capacities to render her a token of her humble humanity, which proves God's and the Holy Father's teachings about Theosis. Since then, I was called to be enrolled in St Stephen's house of studies offered through correspondence by the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America and 4 years later I was called to join the Orthodox program at Sherbrook University. These two programs have led me to 2 Master degrees; Master of Arts in Applied Theology, University of Balamand, Lebanon on the thesis "We Are Saints" and Maitrise en theologie/orthodoxie, University de Sherbrook, Canada on the thesis "Book of Acts, my Personal Pilgrimage." And now, I am called for the PHD program at Sherbrook University where my paper will be on "Healing in the Orthodox Church - the Lost Meaning."

While these callings were very overwhelming and exciting, God had few hidden and mysterious treasures for me, in which He took me from a splendor to another. Although my liver started deteriorating in 1997, January 2004 was the glorious time with illness, which was transformed into blessings. Two liver transplants - 10 months apart - have shaped my whole learning and gave me the real taste of knowing the self, the other and God. In the hospital were my spiritual healing and understanding. Under the knife of the surgeon was my witness to the faith of Jesus Christ whom I have put at my baptism. And under the control of medication, technology, tubes, and human wisdom I learned complete dependence on the Power from the Highest. These difficult times were for me the incinerator that burned all unnecessary knowledge and kept me with the one, which is needed for Theosis, humility. Going through all of these life changing events, God called me once again, I the unworthy, to hold with my undeserved hands His sacramental body and to become an agent of His grace to the believers in His Holy Name. Therefore in 03, 30, 2003 I was called to the Holy deaconate and on 12, 13, 2009 I was called to the Holy priesthood to serve at the Holy Altar.
...and as the pilgrimage to God's grace continues, more of my life in God soon will be revealed.