Maronite Enrichment Days April 26-28

First Guest Speaker
Maronite Enrichment Days
April 26-28, 2022



Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent is an Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Syriac Patristics at Marquette University. She is the author of Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches, The History of Mar Behnam and Sarah: Martyrdom and Monasticism in Medieval Iraq (with Kyle Smith), and an associate editor of, a digital portal for Syriac studies. She is active in the field of the Digital Humanities and the Study of Early Christianity.

1st Session
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
10:00 am -11:30 AM

The Syriac Fathers
and Pope Francis’s
Laudato Si

This talk will introduce the audience to the rich integral theology of the cosmos that we find in the early Syriac fathers of the church. It will bring these sources into dialogue with Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home.

2nd Session
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
1:30 PM -3:00 pm

Syriac Saints
and their Communities

This talk will discuss models of holiness in the Syriac Tradition: monks, martyrs, and healers. It will present the strong theology of the incarnation that Syriac hagiography incorporates into its narrative, and it will discuss the role of local churches and communities in fashioning feasts and celebrations to honor the saints of their sacred past.

3rd Session
Thursday, April 28, 2022
10:00 AM -11:30 am

Female Saints

Syriac Christianity has a rich tradition of female saints in its hagiographic literature.  This talk celebrates their memory by discussing female martyrs, mothers, and nuns of the Syriac heritage. We will discuss how their witness helps Christians (male and female) today.

Second Guest Speaker
Maronite Enrichment Days
April 26-28, 2022

Claude w.
Franklin, jr.


Father Claude W. Franklin, Jr. was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina on the 12th of February 1972. Father Claude was Baptized as a Maronite, along with his father and sister, on May 25th, 1980, at Archangel Michael Maronite Church in Fayetteville, NC. Father Claude entered Our Lady of Maronite Seminary in the Fall of 1991, where he graduated from Oblate College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree in May of 1994 and a Master of Arts in Theology degree in May of 1997. His Master’s Thesis was entitled: The Use of Symbols and Typology by the Syriac Fathers in Teaching Salvation History.

Father Claude was ordained as a Maronite Priest of the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn on November 29th, 1997, by Bishop Stephen Doueihi, at Archangel Michael Maronite Church in Fayetteville, NC. Following ordination, Father Claude was sent by Bishop Doueihi to Lebanon from February until September of 1998, where his assignment was to “have an experience in Lebanon”. While “experiencing Lebanon”, Father Claude began to learn to speak and read Arabic, visit the historic sites of both Maronite and Lebanese importance, as well as make many contacts.

Upon his return to the United States, Father Claude was assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Ann Maronite Church in Scranton, PA for five and half years. In the Summer of 2003, Bishop Doueihi asked Father Claude to go to Rome and study for a degree in Liturgy from the Pontifical Oriental Institute and reside at the Maronite College. In June of 2005, Father Claude received his Licentiate in Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences, with a specialty in Liturgy, “Summa Cum Laude”. His Licentiate Thesis was entitled: Oil of Gladness: The Historical Origins of the Maronite “Rite of the Lamp”. With the blessing of Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, Father Claude remained in Rome for an additional year, completing his course work for beginning the Doctoral Studies program in Liturgy from the Pontifical Oriental Institute. His Doctoral Dissertation is still a work in progress but is an examination and comparison of eight Syriac Maronite Manuscripts of the “Rite of Lamp”, in an attempt to reconstruct the original form of the ritual.

In May of 2006, Father Claude returned to the United States and was Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Victory Maronite Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until May of 2007, when he was assigned as Pastor of St. Elias Maronite Church in Roanoke, Virginia, where he remained until the Winter of 2010 when he returned to Rome and Lebanon to pursue work on his Doctoral Dissertation. Due to a Priestly shortage at the time, Bishop Gregory asked Father Claude to return to the United States, where he was assigned as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Maronite Church in New Castle, Pennsylvania for 10 years, until he was assigned as Pastor of St. Joseph Maronite Church in Olean, New York in the Fall of 2020.

In the last couple of years, Father Claude began a little side project comparing various Maronite Calendars; a project which he is currently working on in his spare time between pastoral duties.

4th Session
Thursday, April 28, 2022
1:30 PM-3:00 PM

The Maronite
Sanctoral Calendar

The Maronite Sanctoral Calendar has seen many changes over the centuries to how it is in its current form. In this talk, Father Claude will be explaining the various sources he has been examining and comparing. Examples from the various sources will be shown and a basic timeline of when some minor and major changes in the Maronite Sanctoral Calendar occurred, of which the Synaxarion of Germanus Farhat, which will be given special attention.