About Us

In the early part of the 20th century, immigrants from the area of Aamor and Karm Al-Mohr in Lebanon settled on the South Side of New Castle. These immigrants were identified by their Maronite Catholic faith. By 1920, the Lebanese had a well-established community and family connections.

However, the Maronite Catholic community lacked a permanent home and a priest. So, they met informally. to worship, in storerooms on Long Avenue, Sciota Street and Moravia Street. Their love of their heritage and faith sustained them until they were able to buy their first church building, on Howard Way, in 1926. This love and determination carried them through the Great Depression and they were able to build the current building in 1935 at 2 West Reynolds Street. In 1967, the parish continued their growth with the construction of their beautiful recreational hall on Pearson Street.

Father Claude Franklin's Biography

Father Claude was born on February 12, 1972 in Fayetteville, NC. He spent his first 19 years being raised and educated in Fayetteville, until he entered into the Seminary in Washington, DC. He received both his Bachelor's of Arts in Philosophy on May 7, 1994 and his Master's of Arts in Theology On May 10, 1997 from Oblate College. He was ordained to the Priesthood on November 29, 1997 and spent his first eight months of his Priesthood in Lebanon studying Arabic.

Father Claude's first assignment was at St. Ann Maronite Church in Scranton, PA in 1998 until he was sent to study in Rome in 2003 at the pontifical Oriental Institute and reside at the Patriarchal Maronite College. He received his Master's in Liturgical Studies (Summa Cum Laude) on June 20, 2005.

Upon returning from Rome in May 2006 he was Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Victory Maronite Church in Carnegie, PA. He was then assigned as Pastor of St. Elias Maronite Church in Roanoke, VA. Father was assigned to St. John's in August 2010.

Father Claude is currently working on his Doctorate in Liturgical Studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute.


Currently the parish serves more than 100 families with daily and weekend services.  We strive to carry on the faith of our ancestors.

To meet the founding generation, click here
To read the entire history of the Maronite community in New Castle, click here.

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