Hosam Naoum named dean of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem

By Matthew Davies
Posted May 8, 2012

The Rev. Canon Hosam Elias Naoum

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Canon Hosam Elias Naoum has been named dean of St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem. He will become the first non-English incumbent to serve in the position.

Naoum, 38, has served as canon pastor at the cathedral since 2005, and was the acting dean from 2007-2009. As dean, Naoum will continue to serve as pastor to the cathedral’s Arabic- and English-speaking congregations.

“I call upon all our partners and friends around the Anglican Communion to hold Hosam and his family in their prayers,” said Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani in a May 3 letter announcing the appointment. “May his term as the dean of the cathedral be a blessing to many and to the glory of God.”

Following the announcement, Naoum told ENS: “I am so happy that I am in this position to serve not only the local diocese but the whole Anglican Communion. … This cathedral will always be a welcoming and hospitable place for many pilgrims and visitors.”

Naoum said he appreciates the “trust and confidence” shown in him by Dawani and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, both of whom gave their blessing to the appointment.

He also acknowledged his gratitude to Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who, he said, has been “very supportive to the diocese and to me personally.”

Dawani said the appointment comes “after a long time of discernment and prayer and a lawful and constitutional procedure. Canon Hosam will continue to serve, especially in his new capacity as the dean of St. George’s Cathedral, both the Diocese of Jerusalem and the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

Naoum completed his initial theological training at the College of the Transfiguration and Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, and in 2011 earned a Master of Theology degree in Canon Law from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Dawani also is a graduate of VTS, most recently earning a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2006.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of VTS, said in a statement that the seminary “considered it a privilege to train Canon Naoum for this important ministry. We celebrate with him and his family as he becomes the dean of the cathedral. We commit to remembering him in our prayers as he takes the important position both for Jerusalem and for the Anglican Communion.”

The cathedral was consecrated in 1898. Today, it is home to two congregations: the indigenous Palestinian Anglicans, often called the “Living Stones,” and a community of expatriate English-speaking members.

The Diocese of Jerusalem includes parishes and institutions throughout Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.

Prior to moving to St. George’s, Naoum spent nine years as priest of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Nablus, a town in the West Bank.

Naoum will be installed as dean in St. George’s Cathedral on Ascension Day, May 17, at 11 a.m. Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada will preach.

Hosam is married to Rafa. They have a son, Wadi, and two daughters, Laurice and Krista.

— Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.


Comments (3)

  1. Vianney (Sam) Carriere says:

    If this article is to mention that Archbishop Fred Hiltz is preaching at the installation service, might it not also be useful to give his full title — Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada?

  2. John McCann says:

    As a probationary candidate for becoming a Fellow of The Society of St. John the Evangelist, I am looking forward to coming to Jerusalem next year on a pilgrimage with my church, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, I am also very interested in his wonderful background, that will add a rich layer of inter-cultural background into the Anglican Communion, where it is needed most.

    I am very interested in St. George’s College, and wondering if he will have any involvment in that institution. I have an educational background from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, where I earned my MA in Asian Art and Archaeology, and those studies brought me to studying my Anglican faith, from the perspective of inter-cultural maritime and Silk Road trade, and to examine now the rich exchange of visual arts, literature, and particularly as I am now looking more deeply into faith based study, I see the sharing of ideas, cultures, languages, the arts, and the theology and practice of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. I look forward to attending services with Canon Naoum preaching. He will bring a deep understanding of the problems in Jerusalem, and am hopeful that he will be a voice of reason and respect amongst his people, the entire Anglican Communion, and our brothers and sisters who also trace their faith back to Abraham and Jerusalem. Faithfully in Christ, and God Bless, John MCCann

  3. Nevin C Brown says:

    I recently participated in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem sponsored by the American Priory of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, and our group had the privilege to attend the Palestinian congregation’s service at St. George’s Cathedral on the last Sunday of April. Bishop Dawani, Canon Naoum and members of the congregation gave us a most warm welcome, and Canon Naoum also preached a fine sermon. The cathedral will be in good hands under his leadership!

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